Opportunities Being Developed While the Situation with the PCA3 Prostate Cancer Test is Being Resolved
QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 30, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - DiagnoCure, Inc. (TSX: CUR) (OTCQX: DGCRF) today reports on its initiatives designed to optimize Corporate value moving forward. A number of opportunities are developing for DiagnoCure's new multi-marker prostate cancer test and its colon cancer staging test. Furthermore, even as the clinical community continues to report positive results on DiagnoCure's PCA3 prostate cancer marker, revenues are far from the Corporation's expectations.
Indeed, as reported several times in this last year, DiagnoCure's flagship prostate cancer marker, PCA3, continues to be highly regarded by the clinical community as a useful tool for the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer patients. Close to 40 scientific papers were published on PCA3 since the beginning of 2014 for a total of 233 publications since its introduction, all of them supporting the clear advantages of PCA3 over other prostate cancer tests.
Notwithstanding the important clinical utility of the PCA3 test, the product has not penetrated the market at levels commensurate with DiagnoCure's expectations. The Corporation believes that this could have been the result of a lack of a substantive marketing investment by the Corporation's exclusive PCA3 licensee, even though over the last year DiagnoCure's management team has exerted a multi-faceted effort aimed at galvanizing a stronger commitment to market the PCA3 test from its licensee. Consequently, DiagnoCure, as previously reported, has pursued an unsuccessful initiative to purchase the entire Prostate Oncology Business Unit from its licensee in order to regain all commercial PCA3 rights and fully exploit its potential. Nevertheless, as a result of continued interactions with the Corporation's licensee, DiagnoCure's Board of Directors and management team trust that a beneficial outcome to the current situation could emerge, which would favorably impact the Corporation's revenue stream.
In parallel, DiagnoCure's management team has investigated numerous opportunities to in-license, acquire new technologies or establish partnerships to develop new products or offer new services. However, all these efforts were requiring significant investment, exceeding the current cash or financing available to the Corporation for such development projects.
As a result, effective October 31, 2014, a number of DiagnoCure's employees will be temporarily laid off and the few remaining, have all accepted a significant reduction of their working time and related compensation until further notice. Moreover, the President and Chief Medical Officer as well as all Board members have also accepted a significant reduction of their compensation.
Considering the above and because positive results of the 500-patient clinical trial of DiagnoCure's new multi-marker prostate cancer test ("PCP") will soon be released, the Board of Directors of the Corporation has decided to focus business development efforts on the out-licensing of both the PCP test and the Previstageâ GCC colon cancer test while simultaneously reducing operating expenses. As previously reported, a licensing agreement was recently signed with Shuwen Biotech for the marketing and sale of the GCC test in China. Moreover, discussions with other interested parties are underway for other territories. The Corporation has also begun discussions for the sale or out-licensing of the PCP test as well.
"During these last months, our team had exerted an enormous effort to find common ground for success with DiagnoCure's PCA3 licensing partner. However, we feel our partner's marketing priorities have remained focused on areas other than prostate cancer. The efforts we made did help to create a momentum that we are confident will lead to a positive outcome. The current situation and financing available to support other cancer-product-development initiatives required us to take the current decision," said Dr. Yves Fradet, Chairman of the Board.
Dr. Vincent Zurawski, DiagnoCure's Lead Director added, "During this last year, our team has pursued and is still working on a number of opportunities under terms of non-disclosure agreements, which do not allow us to provide more information to the public. For this entire time, we have been implementing a clear plan as to what actions would need to be taken at various time points. This plan has culminated with the current decision, because potential arrangements associated with the opportunities being pursued could not be completed by a date that was predetermined by our board. Until now it was necessary to maintain our already depleted staff to complete the clinical trial on PCP and also because all those human resources were needed to implement the opportunities being pursued. Now that we have completed the PCP clinical trial and reached our predetermined deadline without additional business arrangements in place, it has become necessary to take the next steps in the plan as reported in this release. Our entire board regrets that our decisions will negatively impact loyal and longstanding employees of DiagnoCure, but we believe that the decision we have made provide the best chance to optimize corporate value."
DiagnoCure (TSX: CUR; OTCQX: DGCRF) is a life sciences corporation that develops and provides molecular and genomic tests to support effective clinical decisions enabling personalized medicine in oncology. Previstageâ GCC and the Corporation new multimarker prostate cancer test are currently available for licensing. The Corporation has granted a worldwide exclusive license on PCA3 for the development and commercialization of a prostate cancer test which is now commercialized in Europe under CE mark and is approved for commercialization in Canada and the United States. For more information, please visit www.diagnocure.com.
This release contains forward‐looking statements that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expected. By their very nature, forward‐looking statements are based on expectations and hypotheses and also involve risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, many of which are beyond DiagnoCure's control. As a result, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward‐looking statements. The forward-looking statements regarding the outcome of research and development projects, clinical studies and future revenues are based on management expectations. In addition, the reader is referred to the applicable general risks and uncertainties described in DiagnoCure's most recent Annual Information Form under the heading "Risk Factors". DiagnoCure undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward‐looking statements contained herein unless required by the applicable securities laws and regulations.
SOURCE: DiagnoCure inc.
For further information: Investors and Media : DiagnoCure Inc., Danielle Allard, (418) 527-6100, [email protected]