Healthcare Industry News: colorectal cancer
News Release - December 5, 2007
DiagnoCure establishes U.S. commercial operations - Lease signed on service laboratory and key directors hiredQUEBEC CITY, Dec. 5 (HSMN NewsFeed) - DiagnoCure Inc. (TSX: CUR ), a life sciences company commercializing high-value cancer diagnostic tests, today announced that it signed a lease on a fully equipped service laboratory in Philadelphia, PA. The company intends to use this lab to commercialize its proprietary molecular tests for colorectal and other cancers. In addition, the company has hired two seasoned directors to ensure optimal adoption of the tests and their reimbursement by insurers.
With the progress made on the optimization of the GCC test for colorectal cancer and its forthcoming launch in 2008, DiagnoCure has decided to execute its option to lease lab facilities from Targeted Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Inc., the company from which it had acquired exclusive worldwide rights on the GCC gene earlier this year.
"Being able to offer our tests directly to physicians is key to our business model," stated John Schafer, President and CEO of DiagnoCure. "Molecular diagnostic tests are complex and by offering them through our own service lab, we will be able to provide top quality results and support to the ordering physicians. We are very excited about this first concrete step in building our commercial operations in the U.S. where we intend to expand our presence and establish our leadership."
In support of commercialization efforts, Mr. Philip Wells, Sr. Director of Reimbursement and Dr. Ronald Blum, Sr. Director Clinical Marketing recently joined the company, reporting to Blair Shamel, Sr. Vice President of Corporate Development. Mr. Wells previously worked at CV Therapeutics and Prometheus Laboratories where he was responsible for reimbursement policy for both laboratory tests and pharmaceutical products. At DiagnoCure, he will be responsible for developing and implementing corporate strategies for gaining reimbursement for the company's high-value tests. Dr. Blum comes from Specialty Laboratories in Santa Monica, CA where he served as Vice President of Marketing. Dr. Blum will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies for educating the oncologists, surgeons and pathologists on the clinical value of the company's proprietary tests for GCC and Shc proteins, thus creating clinical demand.
About those hires, John Schafer added: "We are pleased that high level executives like Phil and Ron have chosen to join DiagnoCure as key team members. We are building an organization of highly-experienced professionals to bring key clinical tests to market."
About DiagnoCure's proprietary tests
The GCC gene has been shown in early studies to be of potential value in patients with colorectal cancer to determine whether their disease has spread outside the intestinal tract, which would help determine whether a patient requires expensive and debilitating chemotherapy after surgery. A prospective, five-year NIH-sponsored study of the test is nearing completion and is expected to be available in 2008. The Shc protein assays have been shown to be of potential value in colon, breast and other cancers to determine whether a patient's cancer is at high risk of recurring and potentially, which treatment type is likely to be effective.
DiagnoCure (TSX: CUR ) is a life sciences company commercializing high-value cancer diagnostic tests and delivering lab services that increase clinician and patient confidence in making critical treatment decisions. DiagnoCure is currently preparing to launch the first GCC-based molecular test for the management of colorectal cancer. In 2003, the Company entered into a strategic alliance with Gen-Probe (NASDAQ: GPRO ) for the development and commercialization of a second-generation test for PCA3, DiagnoCure's proprietary molecular marker highly specific to prostate cancer. The test is now available through laboratories in the U.S. using PCA3 analyte specific reagents (ASR) from Gen-Probe, and in Europe as the CE-marked PROGENSA(TM) PCA3 in vitro assay. In addition to its own research, the Company intends to acquire or in-license additional promising cancer biomarkers from both academic and commercial institutions. For more information visit www.diagnocure.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expected. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are based on expectations and hypotheses and also involve risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, many of which are beyond DiagnoCure's control. As a result, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements regarding the outcome of research and development projects, clinical studies and future revenues are based on management expectations. In addition, the reader is referred to the applicable general risks and uncertainties described in DiagnoCure's most recent Annual Information Form under the heading "Risk Factors". DiagnoCure undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein.
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