VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 12, 2010) - T-Ray Science, Inc. (TSX VENTURE: THZ) announced today it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement (the "Agreement") with the BC Cancer Agency ("BCCA") for patent rights to a novel, non-invasive skin cancer detection device that will accelerate T-Ray's efforts in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment.
The Company intends to utilize the licensed technology to advance its own commercialization efforts of a device that can scan a mole or lesion to determine if it is cancerous. This diagnostic approach, termed "Optical Biopsy" allows for earlier and more accurate detection of skin cancer while reducing the need for the invasive procedures currently being used. Skin cancer is one of the most treatable cancers when diagnosed early, and early diagnosis saves lives and lowers treatment costs. The cost of treating a patient with advanced melanoma is 40 times that of treating someone with early melanoma.(1)
"This is a defining acquisition for T-Ray, as it clearly establishes the Company as an emerging leader in the development of non-invasive skin cancer diagnostics. T-Ray is acquiring over 12 years of research and development on early skin cancer detection with this licensing agreement," said Thomas Braun, CEO of T-Ray Science, Inc. "The licensed technology includes several exciting advances in spectroscopy, and has been used for over six years of clinical data collection, during which time approximately a thousand lesions have been catalogued using the licensed technology. We look forward to a continued close collaboration with the BCCA in support of our efforts."
"The synergies with this collaboration are substantial," said Tom Walker, T-Ray's Chief Business Development Officer. "Both T-Ray and the BCCA have been focused on imaging and spectroscopy systems for the early detection of skin cancer. Our technologies and efforts are complementary, leading to a multimodality imaging and spectroscopy system aimed at diagnosing all forms of skin cancer and pre-cancerous lesions non-invasively."
Pilot clinical results from 274 lesions associated with the BCCA clinical study show that malignant melanoma can be differentiated from other pigmented lesions with a diagnostic sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 70%.(2) "These results indicate the potential for substantial clinical impact through early detection, and significant health system economic impact through the reduction in surgical biopsy procedures," continued Mr. Walker. "Our optical biopsy approach to diagnosing all forms of skin cancer and precancerous lesions has the potential to replace the need for literally millions of biopsies done every year in North America alone."
The technology is extensible to endoscopic applications in cancer detection, such as gastro intestinal cancer and cervical cancers. These applications are included in the license's field of use.
Under the terms of the Agreement, T-Ray gains an exclusive worldwide right to use and sublicense BCCA's patented skin cancer detection technology; and to manufacture, distribute and sell products based on the licensed technology. In return, the Company will pay BCCA an initial licensing fee, a royalty on sales, and an annual license maintenance fee. In addition, T-Ray will issue 1,655,000 stock purchase warrants to BCCA. The warrants shall have a term of five years and an exercise price of the market price of T-Ray's common shares at closing. The Agreement is subject to regulatory approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.
About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed annually(3). Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon(4). The chance of developing skin cancer in British Columbia is one in seven according to the BCCA, and in the Unites States, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime(5).
The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. The BC Cancer Foundation raises funds to support research and enhancements to patient care at the BC Cancer Agency. www.bccancer.bc.ca
About T-Ray Science, Inc.
T-Ray Science, Inc. is a medical device company centered on the development and commercialization of an innovative skin cancer detection system for the early diagnosis and treatment of all significant forms of skin cancer. (Including: melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma).
The Company's patented imaging and spectroscopy technologies are the foundation for the development of the company's non-invasive, in vivo skin cancer detection and delineation system. This diagnostic tool will deliver significant clinical impact through improved patient outcomes, and will reduce healthcare costs by eliminating the need for most biopsies. The platform technology is extensible to other forms of cancer including lung and cervical cancers.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the future commercialization of THz based products, 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.
(1) Tsao H, Rogers GS, Sober AJ: An estimate of the annual direct cost of treating cutaneous melanoma, J Am Acad Dermatol 1998;38:669-680.
(2) Zeng H, Zhao J, Short M, McLean D, Lam S, McWilliams A, Lui H, Raman Spectroscopy for In Vivo Tissue Analysis and Diagnosis, from Instrument Development to Clinical Applications, Journal of Innovation in Optical Health Sciences - Vol 1, No. 1 2008 95 - 106
(3) Rogers H, Weinstock M, et al., Incidence Estimate of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer in the United States, 2006. Archives of Dermatology 2010.
(4) American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2009. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2009.
(5) Robinson JK. Sun Exposure, Sun Protection, and Vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294: 1541-43.
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