Intelligent Fingerprinting (Norwich, UK)  has signed a deal with Smart Start (Irving, Texas, USA) granting it exclusive North American marketing and distribution rights for Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug-testing device.

Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA; Norwich, UK) and the distribution deal follows the recent announcement of a £2m investment in the company from a consortium of private US-based investors.

Its prototype handheld fingerprint drug detection device uses a unique process to detect drug metabolites and other substances contained in fingerprints. Smart Start expects to begin offering the device in North America in early 2013 subject to regulatory approval.

Smart Start is a developer of breath alcohol analyzers and a provider of breath alcohol ignition interlock devices which prevent drivers from starting their vehicles if breath alcohol is detected. The company has formed a new subsidiary Smart Sales to concentrate on marketing the products in North America.