VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 14, 2012) - Verisante Technology, Inc. (TSX VENTURE:VRS)(OTCQX:VRSEF)(PINKSHEETS:VRSEF)(FRANKFURT:V3T) (the "Company" or "Verisante"), a leader in cancer detection technology, announced today that the Company has renewed its Collaborative Research Agreement ("CRA") with the BC Cancer Agency (the "Agency") for another 13 months.
Verisante will contribute approximately $250,000 over the course of the CRA to fund continued development of the Company's Aura™ device for skin cancer detection and fund further research and development of the Company's Core™ device for the detection of lung, gastro-intestinal and cervical cancers.
"The BC Cancer Agency is pleased with the progress Verisante is making to advance Aura™, and other cancer detection technologies developed by the Agency, into the public domain," said Brian Schmidt, Interim President, BC Cancer Agency. "We look forward to continued success in our partnership to bring innovations to improve cancer detection and diagnosis to the public."
Verisante Aura™ can be used to evaluate skin lesions that may be clinically suspicious for melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and/or basal cell carcinoma when a medical professional chooses to obtain additional information to rule out one of the above conditions before making a decision to biopsy. Aura™ is a non-invasive optical system that uses Raman spectroscopy to biochemically analyze the skin, providing immediate and accurate results. The device will help to automate the current process of diagnosis, allowing rapid scanning of the 20 to 40 skin lesions on at-risk individuals, improving patient outcomes and comfort.
The BC Cancer Agency has assembled a world-class team of cancer imaging experts to work on technologies licensed by Verisante. "Our collaboration with BC Cancer Agency and its exceptional team members have contributed extensively to Verisante's accomplishments to date and our ability to achieve our key milestones," said Thomas Braun, President & CEO, Verisante. "With this renewed partnership and the funds we have available, we expect to commercialize the Aura by the end of the year and make significant advancements in other technologies, such as the Verisante Core™."
Verisante also announced that the first Beta units of Verisante Aura™ have now been placed at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre and the Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital as the initial steps in the field testing process. The Company plans to expand the field testing into additional dermatological and other skin care centres over the course of the summer. Completion of Beta field testing should occur in the fall, leading to full commercial production by the end of the year.
"It is very gratifying to be so close to seeing the Aura™ benefit patients in 29 countries around the world," said Dr. Harvey Lui, MD, FRCPC, Director of the Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital, Dermatologic Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency, Professor and Head, Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, University of British Columbia and one of the inventors of the Aura™.
"After 10 years of research and study at the BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver General Hospital, we know that the Aura™ has the ability to efficiently assist in diagnosing skin cancer. We are in an epidemic of skin cancers and Aura™ can potentially be used by many front-line medical professionals to evaluate suspicious skin lesions quickly and accurately."
Early detection is key to saving the lives of patients with melanoma and saving health care costs. When melanoma is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, the survival rate is as high as 99 per cent and it costs significantly less to treat compared to when it is detected and treated in later stages.
Aura™ has been approved for sale in Canada, Europe and Australia.
About Verisante Technology, Inc.
Verisante is a medical device company committed to commercializing innovative systems for the early detection of cancer. The Verisante Aura™ for skin cancer detection and the Verisante Core™ series for lung, colon and cervical cancer detection utilize a proprietary cancer detection platform while the operating software and probe technology are unique to each device. The cancer detection platform was developed by the BC Cancer Agency and tested and refined at the Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. This exclusive platform technology allows Verisante to develop and offer a range of compact, non-invasive cancer detection devices that offer physicians immediate results for many of the most common cancers. The Aura™ has been approved for sale in Canada, Europe and Australia. The Core™ has not yet been approved for sale.
Verisante Aura™ was recently awarded Popular Science Magazine's "Best of What's New Award" for 2011, and Verisante Core™ was named one of the top 10 cancer breakthroughs of 2011 by the Canadian Cancer Society. In addition, the Company was named a finalist for the 2011 Regional Awards for New Technology by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and the National Research Council of Canada and named as the year's top ranking Technology and Life Sciences Company on the TSX Venture 50.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the future commercialization of medical devices, the market demand for these products and the proprietary protections the Company will obtain with regard to the technology, all of which statements are subject to market risks, and the possibility that the Company will not be able to obtain patent protection or obtain sufficient customer demand. These statements are made based upon current expectations and actual results may differ from those projected due to a number of risks and uncertainties.
The TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this press release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.