Early cancer detection in the spotlight in the wake of actor Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death
New technology offers hope for early detection and survivability
The recent passing of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman at only age 43 from colon cancer has shone the spotlight again on this deadly disease. Many are asking why we cannot detect and cure cancer. Surely if we find it early it can be cured? Cancer is a terrible disease that now kills one in six people globally. In 2017 cancer killed 9.6 million people. The statistic alone is staggering but the sad part is, with early detection many cancers could be treated and cured. The problem is a lack of awareness that results in a lack of early testing.
One company is hoping to change that with their next generation “10 in 1” early stage cancer blood test called Aristotle®.
That company is StageZero Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX: SZLS). StageZero is best known for their early stage cancer testing. In particular their Aristotle® “10 in 1” blood test to detect any of 10 early stage cancers. Using their diagnostic expertise, in 2020 StageZero also successfully began doing COVID-19 testing.
StageZero Life Sciences is able to screen for cancer and test for COVID-19
Aristotle® 10 in 1 cancer screening
Aristotle® is a panel for simultaneously screening for 10 different cancers from a single sample of blood. Aristotle® has been built on StageZero’s proprietary mRNA technology platform, which was validated in more than 10,000 patients for the development of the first liquid biopsy for colorectal cancer (ColonSentry®).
Aristotle® is the result of 15 years of development and StageZero believes its test is more accurate and better than standard cancer screening tests. It also has the advantage of screening for ten cancers in one test, compared to competitors’ single test/single cancer detection. It is little wonder that StageZero chose the name ‘Aristotle’ after the Greek philosopher, as it means ‘best‘ in Greek.
StageZero expects to begin commercializing their Aristiotle® test by the end of this year. Examples of the cancers covered by the Aristotle test include colo-rectal (bowel), bladder, prostate, liver, nasopharyngeal, stomach, breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers.
StageZero Life Sciences Aristotle® has very high accuracy testing for 10 cancers in 1 blood test
Given that Aristotle® is still relatively new, one of the challenges is increasing awareness both among the medical community but also among potential patients to inform them that there is now a new and very effective way to do an early screening for not one, not two, but TEN cancer tests in one simple blood test.
Step by step, the word is beginning to get out about StageZero’s revolutionary 10 in 1 cancer screening test. For example, an abstract entitled “Aristotle: A Single Blood Test for Pan Cancer Screening” was selected for online publication at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (“ASCO”).
StageZero has a growing network of partners including those on the telehealth platform such as with 10,000 mobile phlebotomists, physician groups, and small and large businesses such as Mercer. Ironically, COVID-19 has helped accelerate the number of new partners and awareness for StageZero’s products.
Applying the technology to COVID-19 testing
In April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, StageZero announced that they will offer both the PCR-based nucleic acid tests as well as qualitative antibody testing for COVID-19. Since that time StageZero has initiated COVID-19 testing with both PCR and antibodies, with initial interest received by the company represented by approximately US$18m+ in revenue. Other StageZero achievements include:
- Beckman Coulter received the EUA from the FDA for its SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Test.
- Partnered with 5 initial groups.
- City of Alpharetta offered StageZero COVID-19 testing to its first responders.
- Partnership with UDo Test connected the Company to a network of 50,000 physicians.
- Mercer VIP Program included StageZero COVID-19 testing and connected the company to numerous employers who have ordered tests. StageZero is now a preferred lab for Mercer.
StageZero has been busy raising capital to support the above recent activities and expansion. In late June StageZero successfully raised C$4.6m from an equity placement. The funds will be used for hiring staff, purchasing equipment, test reagents, and consumable materials (for COVID-19 Tests and Aristotle®).
There is little doubt that early screening for cancer can save lives. Even better is if a patient can be tested for 10 cancers all in 1 simple blood test. It makes routine screening ten times more worthwhile and it may just help to save your life, your relative’s life, or a celebrity’s life.
StageZero is steadily gaining awareness and distribution of their COVID-19 and soon Aristotle® cancer screening test with plans to commercialize Aristotle® by end 2020. The fact that they are also currently providing COVID-19 screening is both boosting revenues and awareness about StageZero. StageZero has potential for revenues to surge in 2020 and beyond as their testing and screening tests potentially become more widely used. The company is cashed up after a June C$4.6m capital raise.
The current market cap of StageZero is just C$35m. Analyst price target is C$0.50, which is well above the current stock price of C$0.09. StageZero Life Sciences is a very exciting company at a very exciting time in their development. They have huge potential to help society and at the same time be a big winner for early investors. Don’t miss this one.