[imageDunedin-based Pacific Edge has secured a major domestic
breakthrough in an agreement which could access the country's
four largest health boards for its diagnostic bladder cancer
test - making it available to 50% of New Zealand's adult
Separate contracts were signed last year for US health
providers, whose services collectively cover 50 million
people, with more marketing under way in Australia, and a
Spanish launch scheduled for the company's mainstay Cxbladder
While bladder detection rates for prospective patients are
near 100% from several trials, for health service providers
the Cxbladder test costs are in the hundreds of dollars per
patient, as opposed to historical, invasive and
time-consuming tests costing up to $3000 each.
Pacific Edge's chief executive David Darling announced
yesterday the signing with the Government's Health Innovation
Hub (HIH), the agency covering the country's four largest
district health boards; Auckland, Waitemata, Counties-Manukau
and Canterbury, to promote use of Pacific Edge's
non-invasive, CXbladder urine-test.
''The signing means we could be covering one in two [adults]
in the country,'' Mr Darling said when contacted.
The HIH is mandated to get new health technology into the
country's health boards.
''HIH's decision to now assist the adoption of Cxbladder is a
strong endorsement of its ability to deliver sound clinical
outcomes for patients, and significant savings in time and
expense for district health boards,'' he said.
Mr Darling estimated that several hundred people on a
three-month waiting list in New Zealand, requiring
traditional tests for bladder cancer analysis, could be
tested over just two days, using Cxbladder.
Brokers at both Forsyth Barr and Craigs Investment Partners
said the collective health board agreement was
''significant'' for Pacific Edge - which has spent $46
million of shareholder funding on research and development
since the early-2000s.
Craigs Investment Partners broker Chris Timms said the
signing represented ''a significant step for the credibility
of the company''.
Previously, Cxbladder contracts had been signed overseas,
giving large numbers of potential clients access to the
However, a product developed in Dunedin was now being used in
New Zealand, adding to its credibility, he said.
''We tend to be more conservative in New Zealand adapting to
Forsyth Barr broker Haley Van Leeuwen said with Pacific
Edge's pending move and inclusion into the stock exchange's
NZX50, she expected to see regular investment house research
Following a stellar year, its share price rocketing more than
250% and trading up more than 6% yesterday to touch $1.74,
Pacific Edge's market capitalisation of $553 million propels
it into the NZX50.
''What the market will be looking for is what the underlying
share value of Pacific Edge will be. Time will tell regarding
the [profit] margins Pacific Edge are making from this deal.
''However, if it's anything compared to what they are
achieving in the United States it should be attractive,'' Ms
Van Leeuwen said.
Mr Darling said Cxbladder blind testing had recently been
completed at the health boards of Waitemata and Canterbury,
with ''outstanding results validating Cxbladder in these
''It was particularly pleasing to see such great results from
these blinded studies, confirming the outcome of the large
clinical study published in the Journal of Urology in the
United States in September 2012,'' Mr Darling said.
On the potential for further contracts, Mr Darling could only
say talks were under way, but he was hopeful.
HIH chief executive Frances Guyett said Cxbladder was an
''exciting innovation'' with potential benefits for millions
with bladder cancer symptoms or who needed monitoring.
''Pacific Edge is an innovative New Zealand company with
demonstrated export potential. The HIH is passionate that New
Zealanders should benefit from access to the same innovative
health products that international markets do,'' Ms Guyett