Thursday 25th September 2014
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Pacific Edge, the medical biotech company, has been awarded a Japanese patent for its colorectal cancer screening technology, as the company looks to expand its range of diagnostic tests internationally. The shares rose on open.
The Dunedin-based biotech is looking to commercialise its Cxcolorectal test in Japan, where colorectal is the nation's most prevalent cancer, it said in a statement. The test, which is in the late stages of development, will detect aggressive cancer in patients who have already been diagnosed, which means doctors are able to target the disease with more specific treatment.
The company's goal is to grow annual revenues to $100 million in the coming years. Much of the growth is expected to come from the US, with its non-invasive bladder cancer test, Cxbladder Detect, where it is securing healthcare provider trials. In New Zealand it provides the test through district health boards, and expects to launch its second product, Cxbladder Triage, later this year.
"Currently our focus is on accelerating the roll-out of the company's first commercial molecular diagnostic test, Cxbladder Detect, in the USA, the world's largest health care market," chief executive David Darling said. "We are gaining commercial traction and as milestones are attained there, the opportunity to launch the Cxbladder system into other markets and bring to market further developments of our intellectual property, such as our colorectal cancer technology, becomes attractive."
The Japanese patent comes after Pacific Edge secured a US patent for a skin cancer test earlier this month.
Last week, Pacific Edge appointed former McKinsey & Co consultant Charles Sitch to its board, to speed up the global commercialisation of its Cxbladder device. The company has been refreshing its board to help drive growth in the US, with the resignation of 12-year director Colin Dawson.
Shares of Pacific Edge opened 4.5 percent higher at 93 cents, and have advanced 26 percent over the past month. In Feburary the stock touched a record of $1.76, before falling as low as 65 cents in August, in a global sell-off of biotech and software stocks when investors questioned their high valuation to earnings ratio.
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