Shares in cancer diagnosis provider Pacific Edge surged close to an all-time high this week after the company secured an agreement with a major health provider in the United States.
The Dunedin-based firm, which has developed a simple and non-invasive bladder cancer test, says the deal with FedMed, a US preferred provider network, will make its Cxbladder product available to an additional 40 million Americans.
Pacific Edge shares gained 48 per cent to reach 74c - which valued the company at $207.3 million - following the announcement, before closing at 72c last night.
The stock hit an all-time high of 76c in March. Cxbladder also won the supreme award at the New Zealand Innovators Awards in Auckland on Thursday night.
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Jackie Walker, chief executive of Pacific Edge Diagnostics USA, said the agreement with FedMed was a "big step forward for Cxbladder".
"Gaining traction in the world's largest health market is generally acknowledged as a lengthy process for new products and therapies," Walker said.
Pacific Edge said negotiations were underway with other health provider networks, insurers and the US Centres for Medicare and Medicade Services (CMS), which oversees Government-funded health insurance programmes for senior citizens and low income earners.
In June Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling said the company, which posted a $6.9 million loss in its last financial year, was expecting to report its first profit in 2014 and could be earning $100 million in annual revenue in the US within five years.
The company has touted Cxbladder as being almost a third cheaper than existing methods for detecting bladder cancer.
Its technology has its roots in the US-led Human Genome Project, which identified the roughly 30,000 genes in human DNA.
At the end of May Pacific Edge announced that the MidCentral District Health Board, based in Palmerston North, would become the first district health board to be a commercial customer for Cxbladder.