Deal gives Cxbladder DHB access

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2014

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Shares in NZX-listed Pacific Edge have again shot higher on the announcement of a deal designed to boost sales of its bladder cancer detection system.

The company has the backing of Government agency, Health Innovation Hub, to raise awareness of its Cxbladder product, particularly within four District Health Boards.

Cxbladder will be considered for use to evaluate possible bladder cancer patients in clinics operated by Auckland, Waitemata, Counties Manukau and Canterbury DHBs.

The Government agency will receive a commission on each sale of the Cxbladder product and work alongside Pacific Edge in dealing with the complex DHB requirements regarding new products.

Before the release Pacific Edge shares were trading 3 cents weaker at $1.61 but later in the afternoon they regained that ground and more, closing 8 cents stronger at $1.72.

HIH chief executive Frances Guyett said the agency had signed a commercial agreement to engage DHBs in the adoption of Pacific Edge's non-invasive bladder cancer detection system.

The agency help was needed because DHBs were very complex organisations, "so it's just helping [Pacific Edge] navigate the channels," she said.

This did not make the HIH a procurement agency like Pharmac. But it was helping innovative companies like Pacific Edge "to validate their intellectual property or new products within the DHBs as well".

HIH was formed in 2012. It has a mandate to enable technology commercialisation into and out of the country's four largest DHBs. The DHBs would not necessarily accept all innovations, Guyett noted.

"We're going to be helping [Pacific Edge] understand the challenges within the DHBs; we'll be also [helping] understanding of the challenges within the DHBs . . . what are some of the constraints," she said.

Pacific Edge chief executive David Darling said the agreement with HIH to "open gates" would help ramp up sales into the DHBs, though he did not want to predict by how much. "We're rewarding for every test they sell," he said of the commercial arrangement.

The Cxbladder product had already been clinically tested in some of these DHBs, in conjunction with urologists who work in both the public arena and private practice, Darling said. There were competing products he acknowledged "but it will displace a couple of the technologies that are poor performers."

Cxbladder has recently also completed a blinded user programme in both Waitemata and Canterbury DHB's with the results validating Cxbladder in these clinical settings, he said. He welcomed Health Minister Tony Ryall's efforts to speed up the adoption of new technologies.

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HIH's Guyett said Pacific Edge was an innovative New Zealand company with the potential to grow exports. The commission earned by the agency on any sales of the Cxbladder product would be used to evaluate other intellectual property.

- BusinessDay

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