Ann Arbor, MI – June 22, 2001 – Biomedical
Diagnostics, LLC, a biotechnology research and development firm, announced
today the availability of its Mammastatin Serum AssayTM (MSA) technology
that may help doctors identify a woman's risk of developing breast
cancer with a simple blood test. The company also announced that it has
signed a letter of agreement with ARUP Laboratories of Salt Lake City,
UT, to market and service the new technology.
ARUP Laboratories is a full-service esoteric clinical reference laboratory
wholly owned by the University of Utah. The agreement gives ARUP Laboratories
rights to market and service the MSA test to clients worldwide.
“One of our company priorities is to offer high-value, innovative
technologies – like the MSA test – to our customers,”
said Ronald L. Weiss, MD, Senior Vice President of ARUP Laboratories.
“We are excited about working with Biomedical Diagnostics in bringing
this new capability to market.”
When the MSA test is used in conjunction with other current screening
and detection methods, such as mammography, personal and physician attention
can be focused on those at higher risk of developing breast cancer. This
may help in earlier detection if a cancer should occur. Statistics available
from studies to date indicate that if a woman's blood tests low
in Mammastatin, she could have an approximate 1-in-3 to 1-in-6 chance
of having breast cancer. If her blood measures high in Mammastatin, she
could have very little chance of having breast cancer. (Statistics show
the test accuracy to be 84%-86%.)
“We are pleased to be taking this step forward with our MSA technology,”
said Jim Arthurs, President of Biomedical Diagnostics. “Associating
ourselves with ARUP Laboratories strengthens our ability to deliver high
quality laboratory services.”
Formed as a jointly funded venture between Biotherapies, Inc. of Ann
Arbor and Genesis Bioventures, Inc. (AMEX: GBI) of New York, Biomedical
Diagnostics was established in 1998 with the main focus of taking the
Mammastatin science to the diagnostic market.
Mammastatin is a protein secreted by most healthy breast cells into the
blood stream. The level of Mammastatin can be measured in the blood and
has been identified in relatively high amounts in blood from healthy women.
It is missing or found in relatively low levels in blood from breast cancer
The MSA test is a method of measuring Mammastatin levels in the blood.
The company believes that incorporating this screening system into existing
screening and detection programs could significantly reduce the overall
costs of the health delivery system through earlier detection and treatment
of breast cancer. The MSA results could also point women who are undecided
towards mammogram if the MSA information indicates risk.
Just as the PSA test is indicative of prostate cancer in men, the MSA
test can be used to indicate risk of breast cancer in women. Early studies
suggest that sensitivity, specificity and predictive values for the MSA
test are comparable to those statistics for the PSA test.
The MSA test can be ordered through ARUP Laboratories or through Biomedical
Diagnostics' custom laboratory service. The retail price is expected
to be $150-$200.
Larry T. Eiler