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Current as of 24/10/14 06:40AM NZST

Pacific Edge shares soar to new high

By Holly Ryan

Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling.
Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling.

Shares in medical research company Pacific Edge have reached a record $1.01 today, after the company struck its second US deal in less than a week.

Pacific Edge today signed an agreement with medical network solution company, the America's Choice Provider Network (ACPN), giving the US firm use of its bladder cancer test, Cxbladder.

It comes after Pacific Edge announced last Friday that it had secured an agreement with medical provider FedMed.

The company also won the supreme award at the New Zealand Innovators Awards last week - more good news for a company that reported a loss of $6.9 million for the latest financial year.

"Its been a pretty amazing week all round and it's great for the company to be getting traction in the US market, and for our shareholders," said Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling.

"Even though we are a public company we act more like a private one in that we have a small group of shareholders who have been fantastic. This is great recognition for them."

At $1.01 a piece, the shares are up 29c today and have risen 110.42 per cent in the past year.

The Dunedin-based company launched Cxbladder, which uses genetic biomarkers in urine to detect the presence of cancer, in July. The test was initially picked up by the MidCentral District Health Board in Palmerston North as its first comercial customer and is now actively in use throughout New Zealand and Australia.

According to Pacific Edge, signing with FedMed will give access to the test to more than 40 million people in the US, and a further 14 million from signing with ACPN.

In the US, the cost of treating bladder cancer patients is up around US$220,000 per patient, due to the recurrent nature of the disease. According to Pacific Edge, more than 1 million Americans will undergo testing for bladder cancer in the coming year, at a cost of about US$1 billion.

Cxbladder, which is being marketed as being a third cheaper than any other test, as well as the most accurate, could result in bladder cancer being diagnosed and treated much earlier, says the company, resulting in lowered treatment costs and a higher success rate.

Darling said the company hoped to sign further deals with health providers in the US in the coming months, and said that as well as working on other cancer testing products, the company would be expanding into Spain, which has the highest bladder cancer rates in the world, as well as Asia as early as next year.

- NZ Herald

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