Update 16 January 2017
The DiaTech CEER Information Memorandum was only released in September 2016, therefore, this will not be a lengthy report. The main development over the fall of 2016 has been the justification of the decision to transfer the assay to the Luminex platform from the microarray platform. The Company is pleased to report that the transfer of the assay to the Luminex platform can be done successfully, with 3 out of 4 tests successfully completed, with good sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility.
The Luminex platform has the advantage of being widely used in hospitals and institutions world-wide, with an estimated 20,000 units being installed throughout the world (approx. 6000 in the USA). The microarray platform used experimentally previously is not well suited to commercialization.
As a result, further optimization of the assay will be conducted on the Luminex platform and studies on individual cancers can and will now be conducted on a commercial platform. The first two cancers to be the subject to studies are breast and non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) which are amongst the 4 most common cancers in the West.
The problem which the Company’s platform seeks to address is that state of the art therapies where there has been expression of certain markers for cancer, such as HER-2 (for which Herceptin is a common treatment) is only effective in approximately 60% of those who express the HER-2 marker. In the remainder of patients, it is present but does not cause the tumours to grow. Consequently, the standard of care treatment fails in some 40% of apparently eligible patients.
The Company’s assay has been shown in tests to be able to quantify not only expression, but more importantly activation, of a variety of markers. This brings the possibility of personalized medicine a step nearer than it has ever been. This has been shown to work on a well-known commercial platform, Luminex.
Management is therefore confident that it should be able, over the next 3-4 years, to test and build a commercially viable platform for testing for expression and activation status of a variety of markers/proteins (HER-2, EGFR, etc.) bringing personalized medicine into the realms of reality.
The current development program envisages value inflection points at the end of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and a liquidity event could occur at any of these value inflection points. Funding above the minimum level required could reduce the time to complete the development program by up to 6-9 months.