World’s most accurate early stage ovarian cancer diagnostic OvPlex™ to be sold in UK markets from 3rd Quarter 2009
11 February 2009: Australian diagnostics development company HealthLinx Limited (ASX: HTX) has reached agreement with Intus Healthcare for the distribution of the OvPlex™ ovarian cancer diagnostic to the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
OvPlex™ is the most accurate commercially-available, early stage ovarian cancer diagnostic with 92 per cent diagnostic efficiency. The diagnostic is based on a simple blood test that women can request from their doctors.
The Intus Healthcare agreement is based on an exclusive three-year deal. It is the first time the OvPlex™ diagnostic will be available outside of Australia and the exclusive distribution depends on Intus surpassing minimum sales targets. Sales are expected to begin in the second half of 2009 calendar year.
“It is an important development in UK healthcare for women to have access to OvPlex™,” says Nick Gatsios, managing director of Healthlinx.
“Given the advantages of early detection of ovarian cancer, OvPlex™ has the potential to save hundreds of lives.”
OvPlex™ was released by ARL Pathology in the Australian market in October 2008. The test, developed in Melbourne by HealthLinx scientists uses five protein biomarkers detected in blood.
Chairman of HealthLinx Limited Dr Greg Rice, who helped develop the technology, said: “OvPlex™ is a new generation multimarker blood test that delivers superior diagnostic efficiency and out performs any other commercially-available ovarian cancer test.”
Worldwide over 240,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed each year while more than 130,000 women die from the disease. The UK region accounts for over 7,000 of these diagnoses and 4,000 lives lost.
Dr Rice said: “The reason why it is the most lethal of the reproductive tract cancers is that 75 per cent of women with ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until late stage disease. Their chances of surviving five years are probably only 20-30 per cent. But if the disease is diagnosed at early stage where it is contained within the ovary the chance of surviving five years rises to 80 per cent.
“That is why it is so important to try and develop better tests for diagnosing ovarian cancer, particularly early stage disease. That is where we can really make a difference.”
HealthLinx is continuing research and development on the next generation ovarian cancer diagnostic to further improve accuracy and is working to develop the world’s first community based screening test.
Nick Gatsios, HealthLinx Limited +61 3 9208 4200
Rudi Michelson, Monsoon Communications +61 3 9620 3333
About HealthLinx Limited (ASX:HTX)
HealthLinx uses biomarkers to develop best practice diagnostics that detect and monitor diseases. First commercial targets are:
• Ovarian cancer diagnostic (OvPlex) targeting US$270m pa market
• Prostate Cancer targeting US$350m pa market
A biomarker is a specific biochemical in the body that measures disease or the effects of treatment.
HealthLinx targets important markets with unmet needs. HealthLinx is launching its first ovarian cancer product in Australia in Q308 (distributed by ARL Pathology), is developing next generation high accuracy diagnostics and will out-licence to global partners for worldwide sales.