StageZero’s early cancer detection tests and telehealth platform are growing fast
Cancer is a terrible and common disease. According to the WHO: “One in 5 men and one in 6 women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime; and one in 8 men and one in 11 women die from the disease.” Experts all agree early detection is the key. I know from personal experience in my family that two lives have already been saved from detecting cancers early.
StageZero Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX: SZLS) is a Canada-based company focused on developing and commercializing molecular diagnostic tests for early detection of cancer. StageZero has developed the ‘Sentinel Principle’ platform technology which determines bio-markers from whole blood.
StageZero’s diagnostic tests
Aristotle® is a panel for simultaneously screening for 10 cancers from a single sample of blood with high sensitivity and specificity for each cancer. The Aristotle® platform has been validated on 10,000 patients and used to develop the first liquid biopsy for colorectal cancer.
Chairman and CEO of StageZero Life Sciences, James Howard-Tripp, stated: “There is significant interest in being able to screen easily and routinely for multiple cancers, and our tests meet this need.” Other StageZero diagnostic tests for early cancer detection include ColonSentry, BreastSentry, Prostate Heath Index, and Early CDT-Lung.
StageZero expands partner agreement with Oncore Pharma
StageZero has now expanded its multi-year licensing agreement with Oncore Pharma Inc., a company that specializes in the research, development, and commercialization of oncology (cancer) products and services. In addition to the current agreement to commercialize ColonSentry® under an exclusive 5-year licensing agreement, Oncore Pharma will now add StageZero’s BreastSentry and the Prostate Health Index to its portfolio of offerings. With two new products on offer through Oncore Pharma, test numbers should rise significantly. StageZero’s diagnostic tests in Q3, 2019 were ~1,500.
Under the terms of the agreement, StageZero will receive a fee for processing and reporting of the tests and has received 1 million common shares of Oncore Pharma and will receive a special royalty payment equal to 10% of Oncore’s yearly profits. Oncore Pharma’s partner in the Benelux countries of Western Europe, BodyCheck NL, has indicated they will initiate testing during the first quarter of 2020.
Martin Verronneau, the President and CEO of Oncore Pharma Inc., stated: “We created Oncore Pharma to focus specifically on research, development and commercialization of oncology products and ColonSentry is exactly the type of diagnostic test the market needs and our customers demand.”
StageZero expands its telehealth network
‘Telehealth’ allows long-distance patient and clinician contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions.
StageZero’s telehealth network can be used by patients to get the test ordered via a physician, then have their blood drawn at a nearby lab or in the comfort of their home, and then receive their test results online. Patients with elevated scores are encouraged to do a follow up with a telehealth physician online or over the phone to discuss results.
StageZero recently expanded its reach by signing new contracts with ARCPoint Labs and Phleb-Finders to build StageZero’s blood draw network to 500 locations and 10,000 mobile phlebotomists.
The telehealth program is beginning to show significant patient adoption as the program puts the patient in control by providing a convenient and private process for getting tested. The telehealth market is growing rapidly from a market of US$49 billion in 2018 to a projected market of US$266 billion by 2026, with 66% of Americans willing to use a telehealth platform.
How telehealth works for StageZero’s clients
StageZero also has its own laboratory. Their CAP-accredited and CLIA certified laboratory offers the ColonSentry® test as well as licensed biomarker tests for lung, breast and prostate cancer.
I am expecting big things from this company both as an investment and also as they are helping save lives by detecting cancer early. Q1 2020 should see a steady rise in diagnostic tests as the Oncore Pharma deal kicks in.