T-Ray Science Enters Collaborative Research Agreement With the BC Cancer Agency and Announces Milestones
Published: Oct 05, 2010
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - October 05, 2010) - T-Ray Science, Inc. (TSX VENTURE: THZ) (the "Company" or "T-Ray") announces it has entered into a Collaborative Research Agreement ("CRA") with the BC Cancer Agency to assist in the production of several clinical prototypes of the skin cancer detection device which the Company licensed from the BC Cancer Agency. Dr. Haishan Zeng serves as the Principal Investigator under the CRA. Dr. Zeng is also a Consultant for T-Ray and one of the inventors of the skin cancer detector.
T-Ray is targeting for an Alpha prototype of the device to be completed in April 2011, and seven Beta prototypes ready for clinical trials to be completed by September 2011 at which time clinical trials will commence.
"Collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency on the production of our skin cancer device significantly decreases our development time and cost to get to market," said Thomas Braun, the Company's CEO. "Having access to the expertise and imaging laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency for production purposes ensures a seamless transfer of technology and a streamlined production schedule. This allows us to lower the cost of the device, which results in greater accessibility and the potential for greater market share."
The skin cancer detector will save lives by enhancing early detection, and lower health care costs by eliminating many unnecessary surgical biopsies. There are also substantial health care cost savings by treating cancer at an earlier stage.
"We know the device works because it has been tested over a six year period on about 1000 lesions at the Vancouver Skin Care Centre. Published intermediate results demonstrated a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 70% for melanoma detection. In addition to eliminating unnecessary biopsies, the results are immediate so the patient does not have to wait to find out if they have skin cancer," said Thomas Braun.
Pathway to Recurring Revenues
T-Ray's skin cancer detector will have a proprietary single use disposable tip which fits onto the end of the skin probe to prevent cross contamination between patients. The disposable tip will provide a stream of recurring revenue.
About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most rapidly increasing and common form of cancer. Over 5,000,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lives and more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. The incidence rate of melanoma is rising at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers and every hour one person in the US dies of skin cancer.
According to the BC Cancer Agency, the chance of developing skin cancer in British Columbia is one in seven, and in the United States, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime.
Patients who are diagnosed with skin cancer in the early stage have a survival rate of 99% as opposed to only 15% if diagnosed at a late stage. Treatment costs are also correlated to clinical stage diagnosis - advanced lesions are 2200% more expensive to treat than early stage lesions. Treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers in the US is estimated at over $1 billion annually and treatment for melanoma at $1.5 billion annually.
Early detection of gastro-intestinal, colorectal and cervical cancers
The technology used in the Company's skin cancer detector is also fully extensible to early detection systems for gastro-intestinal, colorectal and cervical cancers. T-Ray is developing these device applications using an endoscope concurrently with the production of our skin cancer detector. The Company's focus is on the detection of cancers which, if found in early stages, have extremely high survival rates. Patients have a 74% survival rate for colon cancer and 93% survival rate for cervical cancer if diagnosed in the early stage of the disease. Early detection is critical in all forms of cancer, and results in greater treatment options, fewer costly and invasive surgeries and much higher survival rates.
About T-Ray Science, Inc.
T-Ray Science, Inc. is a medical device company committed to developing innovative systems for the early detection of cancer.
The Company's initial focus is skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The Company has licensed a technology developed by the BC Cancer Agency for in vivo, real-time, non-invasive skin measurements.
This platform technology is also fully extensible to early detection systems for other types of cancer, including gastro-intestinal, colorectal and cervical cancers.
About the BC Cancer Agency
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
Forward Looking Statements
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.
T-Ray Science, Inc.
President & CEO