Precipio Enters Japanese Liquid Biopsy Market With First Hospital Sale
First ICE-COLD PCR™ order generated from distribution partnership with Sowa Trading Company
NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Specialty diagnostics company Precipio Diagnostics (NASDAQ:PRPO) announces its entry into the Japanese market with a first order of its ICE-COLD PCR™ (ICP) kit, Precipio’s mutation enrichment technology for liquid biopsies.
ICP leads to better cancer outcomes due to the ability to frequently and cost effectively test and monitor patients for genetic mutations which indicate various treatment responses, using a simple blood draw instead of an invasive tissue sample.
The adoption of liquid biopsies is expected to revolutionize cancer care, with an estimated market of $26B annually. While the US had 1.7 million new cancer patients in 2017, in Asia there were approximately 5 million new cancer patients.
Japan Liquid Biopsy Market
As the largest healthcare spender in Asia, with approximately 8,000 hospitals and over a million new cancer patients each year, we expect Japan to be a substantial regional contributor to our growth in Asia, alongside China & India.
Currently, Precipio’s ICP kits enrich mutations relevant to lung, colon and breast cancer, representing over 30% of those patients. Assuming a regime of four tests per year to monitor a patient with one of those three cancer types alone, a hospital treating 250 cancer patients can generate revenues of $100,000 per year.
This equates to a $120M market opportunity in Japan. By the end of 2018, with our expansion to additional platforms such as NGS, as well as the broadening of our panels to include mutations relevant to additional cancer types, we expect that the market potential can double.
In recent years, lung cancer has surpassed stomach cancer as the leading cause among cancer deaths in Japan. Therefore, Precipio’s first targeted enrichment kit that identifies mutations in lung cancer is an ideal product to introduce into the Japanese market. Utilizing our proprietary ICE-COLD PCR™ technology, the kit will enable Japanese physicians and laboratories to offer the most cost effective resistance mutation test available on the market, tested on blood (liquid) biopsies.
Lung cancer patients can especially benefit from the test which will enable physicians to monitor their patients for resistance to therapies, providing an early-detection solution critical to successful cancer treatment. Laboratories that have any of the platforms on which ICP works will be able to quickly set up the assay with no capital expenditures.
“We see significant value in the ICE COLD-PCR™ technology and the ICEme Kits and are excited that we have received our first order from one of our large hospital customers. We believe the ICP technology will enable many of our hospital customers to cost effectively run liquid biopsy testing in their own labs,” says Susumu Kuwashima, President, Sowa Trading Co., Inc.
ICP Sales Plan
Once a hospital has set up ICP in its laboratory and begins offering the test to its patients, it becomes a recurring customer who continues to purchase Precipio’s ICP kits. Since most hospitals treat multiple types of cancer, as our product offering expands, those new kits will immediately be adopted by the hospital to broaden its offering to other cancer patients.
Precipio expects to grow its business by increasing its hospital laboratory customer base. Our plan calls for the addition of 25-50 new hospital customers in 2018, with approximately 25% of those hospitals outside of the US. With multiple new ICP kits expected to be launched in 2018 broadening the type of cancers for which these mutations are relevant, we expect each hospital to generate revenue of between $50,000-$250,000 annually, depending on the size of the hospital.
“We’re pleased to see the continued progress of our ICE COLD-PCR™ kit adoption globally,” said Ilan Danieli, Precipio CEO. “We believe Japan has significant potential for liquid biopsy testing and are excited to have our first Japanese hospital, successfully on-boarded by Sowa. ICE COLD-PCR™ enables hospital customers in Japan an opportunity to offer liquid biopsy testing in their own laboratories, providing improved monitoring and care to their patients.”
About Sowa Trading Company
Sowa Trading Co., Inc. was founded in October 1984 by a group of engineers as a merger partner of Japan in order to distribute the scientific instrumentation in the Japanese market. Sowa invested in Packard Japan KK a subsidiary of Packard Bioscience Company (United States), which is the world’s largest radiation analysis manufacturer. For over 30 years, Sowa has been introducing the latest laboratory instruments and reagents from Western countries to Japanese researchers of life sciences and environmental sciences. Sowa will continuously import the most advanced instruments in the world, which is necessary to the research of not only environmental sciences but also life sciences, and further contribute to Japan’s research development and science technology sectors.
Precipio has built a platform designed to eradicate the problem of misdiagnosis by harnessing the intellect, expertise and technology developed within academic institutions and delivering quality diagnostic information to physicians and their patients worldwide. Through its collaborations with world-class academic institutions specializing in cancer research, diagnostics and treatment, initially the Yale School of Medicine, Precipio offers a new standard of diagnostic accuracy enabling the highest level of patient care. For more information, please visit www.precipiodx.com.
Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements related to ICP technology, including financial projections related thereto and potential market opportunity, plans and prospects and other statements containing the words “anticipate,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the known risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the Company’s definitive proxy statement filed on May 12, 2017, the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, the Company’s prior filings and from time to time in the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any change in such factors, risks and uncertainties may cause the actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to in such statements. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release and the Company does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.