Urine test to detect single cancer cell
Our researchers have developed a pioneering new type of urine test for the diagnosis of bladder cancer. This approach uses the latest genetic technologies to search for, and analyse individual cells that have been dislodged from bladder tumours into the urine.
Compared to existing technologies which analyse whole urine samples, this approach has the potential to achieve exceptional accuracy. It is hoped that this new approach will lead to cost effective screening for bladder cancer enabling early detection, improved treatment, and outcome.
It is anticipated this method will be extended to detect many cancers including prostate, lung, cervical and endometrial cancer.
Getting a new diagnostic tool into the market
Dunedin-based Pacific Edge Limited has become a biotechnology “start-up” success story, winning innovation awards and securing entry for its non-invasive Cxbladder diagnostic test into the lucrative US market.
Pacific Edge's chief scientific officer, University of Otago Professor Parry Guilford, is one of the founders of the company and a key scientist behind much of the discovery of the company's products.
Cxbladder was supreme winner of the 2013 New Zealand Innovators Awards and is currently being assessed by New Zealand District Health Boards as a potential routine service for hospitals nationally.
In 2013, three large provider networks – FedMed, ACPN and Stratose – signed contracts giving millions of patients in the US access to the company's health-care services and technology. MultiPlan was signed in early 2014 giving the company a clean sweep of the major National Provider Networks.
Pacific Edge Chief Executive David Darling says “Physical examinations are both invasive and extremely expensive. Cxbladder represents the opposite – a simple urine sample test that can only be conducted in Pacific Edge's laboratories. The company owns the intellectual property to run the samples, and we own the relationship between the five genes and the disease. It is extremely accurate compared with the invasive techniques, which is very compelling for urologists and patients.
"As we captured urologists and customers, and developed the product in the marketplace we found there was a great need for more tools that would focus on specific features or needs in the evaluation and management of bladder cancer. We are in the process of building new products that address different needs and we intend to launch a second product later in 2014 that addresses a specific area that urologists have identified.”
Read the full feature in Otago Magazine:
At the edge Otago Magazine, University of Otago website