NEW YORK, NY, May 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Provista Diagnostics, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company developing and commercializing proteomic-based diagnostic, prognostic and monitoring tests for cancers affecting women, today announced it has expanded its exclusive license agreement for certain biomarker and autoantibody technologies identified by researchers Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D. and Karen Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. of the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University. The license provides Provista with access to patents, proprietary technology, materials, processing techniques and protocols necessary for detection of certain autoantibodies and use of certain biomarkers.
This agreement expands Provista's evaluation license, allowing full use of these technologies for further research and development of diagnostics products for early detection of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and human papillomavirus. The first agreement, signed in October of 2013, allowed for the initial evaluation of applicability for this purpose.
"This is an important next step in signifying the potential clinical and market viability of our research and development focus," said Dr. David E. Reese, President and Chief Executive Officer of Provista. "The technologies were discovered at Harvard University Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and completed at ASU Biodesign Institute in the laboratories of Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D. and Karen Anderson M.D., Ph.D. These advances are important to Provista's diagnostics strategy. The combination of these biomarkers with our proprietary assays is important in the development of proteomic tests for early cancer detection."
Biomarkers are substances within the body that can indicate the presence of a disease prior to the clinical manifestation of symptoms. They can help detect cancer at an early stage, which has been shown to significantly improve treatment outcomes and patient survival. For example, according to the American Cancer Society, when ovarian cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is greater than 90 percent. However, fewer than one in five cases are detected at an early stage, because symptoms are typically minimal and invasive surgery is required for diagnosis. To date, no screening biomarkers are recommended for the general population in detecting ovarian cancer.
In the case of breast cancer, while there have been advances in detection and treatment, the disease remains a common and devastating health problem that can be difficult to diagnose. According to the American Cancer Society almost one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer, and these are frequently not diagnosed until a late stage.
"The prospect for diagnostic tools to pinpoint biomarkers indicating the presence of cancers that have otherwise been undetectable presents a major opportunity for improved clinical care," said Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at the Biodesign Institute at ASU. "We are pleased Provista sees the value of our research, as we strongly believe that earlier disease detection offers the potential to not only save more patient lives, but to greatly reduce treatment burdens and health system costs."
The licensing agreement was brokered by Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU's technology transfer organization. ASU, through the activities of AzTE, is annually one of the top-performing U.S. universities in terms of intellectual property inputs (inventions disclosed by ASU researchers) and outputs (licensing deals and start-ups) relative to the size of the university's research enterprise.
About Arizona Technology Enterprises
Established in 2003, Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University. Over the last ten years Arizona Technology Enterprises has supported the development of more than 70 ASU spinout companies. Comprising industry and university veterans, AzTE brings together ASU's researchers and industry partners to transform discoveries into marketable products and services, taking innovation out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace. For more information, visit: www.azte.com.
Provista Diagnostics, Inc. is a privately held molecular diagnostics company focused on developing and commercializing blood based, proprietary diagnostic, prognostic and monitoring tests for cancers affecting women, including breast, ovarian, and other gynecologic malignancies. Tests are performed in Provista's high complexity clinical laboratory, which is licensed in 49 states and is certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to be compliant with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Additional information about Provista Diagnostics is available at www.provistadx.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements contained in this communication not relating to historical facts are forward-looking statements that are intended to fall within the safe harbor rule for such statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The information contained in the forward-looking statements is inherently uncertain, and Provista's actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors, many of which are beyond Provista's ability to predict or control, including among others, viability and effectiveness of our sales approach and overall marketing strategies, the outcome of development or regulatory review of our products, commercial success or acceptance by the medical community, competitive responses, our ability to raise additional capital, and the ability to successfully file a registration statement with the SEC. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events to differ from the forward-looking statements. Provista operates in a highly competitive and rapidly changing business and regulatory environment, thus new or unforeseen risks may arise. Accordingly, investors should not place any reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. Except as is expressly required by the federal securities laws, Provista undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, changed circumstances or future events or for any other reason.
Source:Provista Diagnostics, Inc.