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Pacific Edge at record-high after signing 2nd US health provider network

Tuesday 22nd October 2013

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Shares in Pacific Edge soared to a record high after the Dunedin-based bladder cancer test inventor signed its second deal with a US healthcare network in as many weeks, opening up a sales path to the world's biggest economy.

Pacific Edge today signed an agreement with America's Choice Provider Network, which offers medical network services to more than 14 million people through its client base of insurance carriers, third party administrators, health and welfare funds, employer groups, and self-insured health plans, the company said in a statement.

That adds to the 40 million Americans who can access its CXbladder test from last week's agreement with FedMed, and is the latest step in its pursuit of $100 million annual revenue within the next five years.

The company's shares surged 47 percent to a record $1.06, valuing the company at $297 million. Since announcing the FedMed deal on Oct. 16, the shares have more than doubled.

"These provider networks provide patients access to healthcare services and technology by contracting with providers and payers on a national basis," Pacific Edge USA chief Jackie Walker said. "These two recent agreements signed with FedMed and now ACPN will give millions of Americans access to Cxbladder and its positive benefits as a quick, cost effective, non-invasive and highly accurate cancer detection test."

Pacific Edge was formed in 2001 to commercialise intellectual property acquired from the University of Otago, listing on the stock exchange two years later in a public offer of 12 million partly paid shares at 25 cents apiece.

The company sales team is targeting large commercial payers and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which provides healthcare insurance for 100 million people, about a third of the US's population.

Pacific Edge has published research showing the non-invasive Cxbladder procedure is more successful than current, more costly invasive methods such as cystoscopy. Commercialisation of the test comes after some $28 million of capital investment on Cxbladder and a range of other diagnostic tests to be rolled out in the future.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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