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Cancer test firms Pacific Edge, TruScreen give market some cheer

Tuesday 16th October 2018

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Cancer test makers Pacific Edge and TruScreen both gave investors something to cheer about as they made headway in their respective markets. 

The Cxbladder manufacturer Pacific Edge shares surged by a third after successive announcements on breaking into the North America health bureaucracy, although the stock came off the boil today, down 3.9 percent to 37 cents. John Hopkins Medicine is evaluating the bladder cancer test and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have set the preliminary reimbursement rate for the tests. 

First NZ Capital slashed its revenue forecast by 71 percent to $7.5 million for the year ending March 31 and more than halved its 2020 sales forecast. The research house said Pacific Edge may need to raise more capital, but said the two announcements were significant for the firm. 

"Private insurers often wait for CMS approval before contracting with providers. As such investors should monitor whether PEB starts announcing more deals with private payers and it could attract more US capital," FNZC said in a note to clients. "News that John Hopkins Medicine has commenced a commercial evaluation of Cxbladder, means another well-respected entity is reviewing its potential, albeit the timeframe to a possible commercial deal is unknown."

FNZC retained its 50 cents target price with an 'outperform' rating while noting the stock is a high-risk investment. 

Similarly, cervical cancer test maker TruScreen shares jumped 18 percent to 23.5 cents after saying sales soared to $1.4 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $226,000 a year earlier. 

The firm is focusing primarily on China, but has also made inroads into Africa after closing a $450,000 sale to Zimbabwe's National Aids Council as the preferred method for screening HIV affected women. 

TruScreen said gross margin improved since the opening of a new manufacturing facility cut the company's cost of production. 

"Sales of both devices and the disposal Single Use Sensors are tracking well ahead of last year, with ongoing demand from China and other markets," chief executive Martin Dillon said.


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