Verisante Opens Market; to Present at BioFinance 2011
May 2, 2011 (Marketwire Canada) --
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA --
Verisante Technology, Inc. (TSX VENTURE:VRS)(PINK SHEETS:VRSEF) (the "Company" or "Verisante") announced today that the Canadian Institutes of Health Research ("CIHR") has approved a grant application by the BC Cancer Agency to develop the Verisante Aura™ skin cancer detection device based on matching funds from the Company.
Under the terms of the grant, Verisante will contribute $303,800 and CIHR will contribute $292,000 for a total commitment of over $595,800 towards the development and commercialization of the Aura™, an innovative, non-invasive device for the early detection of skin cancer.
"We are pleased to extend a grant to the BC Cancer Agency for the Verisante Aura™," said Dr. Gregory Huyer, Deputy Director, Knowledge Creation Programs, CIHR. "CIHR supports promising new research and medical technologies pioneered by Canadians that help save lives and improve the overall patient experience. We funded the Verisante Aura™ because it has been developed by Canada's leading dermatologists and cancer researchers and the preliminary clinical results are very encouraging."
The grant will be used to fund the completion of optimized algorithms and the testing, calibration and optimization of the raman probe and the Verisante Aura™ system as a whole, by leading experts at the BC Cancer Agency. Verisante's engineering and development strategy is to continue our close collaborations with partners that will ensure the timely, cost effective, and successful commercialization of Verisante Aura™.
The Verisante Aura™ for skin cancer detection and other Verisante devices for lung, colon and cervical cancer detection utilize a proprietary cancer detection platform while the operating software and probe technology are unique to each device.
"We are very grateful to CIHR for their support," said Dr. Harvey Lui, dermatologic oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency, a professor in the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC), director of the Vancouver General Hospital Skin Care Centre, and one of the co-inventors of the Verisante Aura™. "This grant will help speed the process of developing this device and launching it in Canada this year. Once available, the Verisante Aura™ should help dermatologists serve their patients better by detecting skin cancer more efficiently and reducing unnecessary biopsies, saving time and healthcare costs."
"As the Government of Canada's agency for health research, CIHR works with all partners to move research more effectively through the marketplace to health care providers and ultimately patients that will benefit from innovations and discoveries," said Dr. Ian Graham, Vice President for Knowledge Translation at CIHR. "CIHR encourages innovation that results in solutions to health problems that concern Canadians and contributes to economic growth, investment and high-quality jobs."
In addition to the $595,800 committed to the Verisante Aura's development under the CIHR grant and the $138,000 committed under Collaborative Research Agreements with the BC Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia, the Company previously raised an additional $7 million since acquiring the technology from the BC Cancer Agency.
"This government grant serves to enhance our own commercialization efforts," said Thomas Braun, President & CEO of Verisante Technology, Inc. "Having government support allows us to leverage the cash raised in our previous financings and further validates the technology. The Company will continue to take full advantage of all available government programs to heighten the development efforts throughout our pipeline of technology."
Verisante CEO Thomas Braun will open the market on Monday, May 2, 2011 in celebration of the Company's listing on the TSX Venture Exchange. Verisante is listed under the symbol VRS. The ceremony will also be available for viewing as soon as it is available on the Company's website at http://www.verisante.com/news/media.
Skin Cancer Awareness
May is the start of the warmer weather months and the beginning of many skin cancer awareness campaigns, including Melanoma Monday (May 2) and Skin Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. National Sun Awareness Week runs from June 6 to June 12 in Canada.
Mr. Braun will be presenting at BioFinance 2011 at the St. Andrew's Club and Conference Centre in Toronto at the end of May. BioFinance is the leading investor conference in Canada for the life sciences industry. The event brings together key industry players interested in investment opportunities and issues affecting companies in the life sciences sector.
About Veris a nte Technology, Inc.
Verisante is a medical device company committed to commercializing innovative systems for the early detection of cancer. The Verisante Aura™ for skin cancer detection and the Verisante Core™ series for lung, colon and cervical cancer detection utilize a proprietary cancer detection platform while the operating software and probe technology are unique to each device. The cancer detection platform was developed by the BC Cancer Agency and tested and refined on approximately 1,000 lesions at the Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. This exclusive platform technology allows Verisante to develop and offer a range of compact, non-invasive cancer detection devices that offer physician's immediate diagnostic results for many of the most common cancers to assist in the biopsy decision.
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).
About The Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital
The Skin Care Centre at VGH is affiliated with the UBC Department of Dermatology and Skin Sciences. It is a national centre of excellence uniting clinical care, research, and education. The Centre sees over 20,000 patients annually in general and subspecialty dermatology clinics, and runs the country's busiest phototherapy centre. A critical component of the Skin Care Centre at VGH is its comprehensive and aggressive program dedicated to exploring all aspects of skin cancer, encompassing treatment, clinical, and basic science research (www.skincarecentre.ca).
About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency responsible for funding health research in Canada. For the past 10 years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has supported, through its peer review process, better health and healthcare for Canadians. As the Government of Canada's health research investment agency, CIHR enables the creation of evidence-based knowledge and its transformation into improved treatments, prevention and diagnoses, new products and services, and a stronger, patient-oriented healthcare system. Composed of 13 internationally-recognized institutes, CIHR supports more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
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.
Verisante Technology, Inc.
President & CEO