UPDATED: Pacific Edge backtracks after European patent mix-up

Pacific Edge's colorectal technology was given regulatory approval.

UPDATEDPacific Edge [NZX: PEB], the non-invasive bladder cancer test developer, has quickly backtracked on an announcement that its Cxbladder had been granted a patent in Europe, when in fact its colorectal technology was given regulatory approval.

The earlier announcement prompted a trading halt in Pacific Edge's shares, which had gained 4.9 percent to 85 cents before the halt, and held that increase when they resumed trading.

The European Patent Office granted a patent for the company's colorectal cancer prognostic technology, which is in the late stages of development and has already been patented in Japan, while its Cxbladder, which is already on market, is expected to be issued a patent in February next year, Pacific Edge said in separate statements.

"Currently our focus is on accelerating the rollout of the company's first commercial molecular diagnostic test, Cxbladder-detect, in the USA, the world's largest healthcare market," chief executive David Darling said. "As milestones are attained there, the opportunity to launch the Cxbladder system into other markets and bring to market further developments of our intellectual property, such as our colorectal cancer technology, become attractive."

The earlier statement today said Europe has the highest incidence of bladder cancer in the world, with some 151,000 new cases detected every year, and Pacific Edge has already appointed medical lab company Oryzon as a licensee in Spain.

The European patent for the colorectal technology covers the European Union, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Monaco, Iceland, Norway, the Republic of Macedonia, San Marino and Serbia. Colorectal cancer is third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and second in women, with more than 1.2 million new cases and 608,700 deaths estimated to have occurred in 2008.

The company's colorectal cancer prognostic test is expected to make it easier for clinicians to determine the aggressiveness of Stage II and Stage III cancer, and once development is completed, will become another commercial product called Cxcolorectal.

Pacific Edge has also received patents in the US for skin cancer detection, and China for gastric cancer detection.

The company is targeting annual revenue of $100 million in the coming years, much of which it expects will come from the US where Pacific Edge has signed contracts with national network healthcare managers to supply its test to providers.

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