Pacific Edge gains US approval for Dunedin test lab

Pacific Edge, the maker of non-invasive bladder cancer tests, has won US regulatory approval to commercially process test samples from its latest cancer detecting product at its Dunedin laboratory.

Approval and registration with the US regulatory standard, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, enables the commercial use of its Cxbladder Triage test at its diagnostics laboratory, the company said in a statement. Registration is the standard for any ‘Laboratory Developed Tests’ and mandatory for processing any samples from US-based patients.

Pacific Edge is chasing US sales to tap the world’s largest healthcare market where there are more than 10,000 urologists. Bladder cancer, which is highly treatable, is the ninth most common cancer globally and the fourth most for men. Cxbladder Triage is Pacific Edge’s second bladder cancer testing product and the latest to enter the commercial market. It is used to help rule out early stage bladder cancer by testing patients who have had haematuria (blood in the urine).

Earlier this year, the company was forced to revise its annual loss to $11.2 million for the year ended March 31 to include a $500,000 compensation payment to shareholders following an investigation by the Financial Markets Authority that found the company probably breached NZX listing rules on continuous disclosure.

The compensation is for shareholders who sold the stock in the window between the company signing contracts and making an announcement to the NZX. The shares soared as much as 250 percent in little more than a week following the company’s October 2013 announcement of new US contracts.

The firm is also expanding beyond bladder cancer testing. Last September it announced it was looking to commercialise its Cxcolorectal test in Japan, where colorectal cancer is the nation’s most prevalent cancer. 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.

Pacific Edge shares were unchanged at 63 cents and have declined some 25 percent since the start of the year.



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