Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The Howard Group's Newest Client

Med BioGene announced the appointment of the Howard Group to provide investor relations on Feb. 15th. Click here to read the full release.

Med BioGene (TSX.V: MBI) is a biotechnology company that is revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease by identifying the genes, known as "biomarkers," that indicate the presence of such diseases. Currently, MBI is focused on improving screening, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment decisions for patients suffering from certain cancers (lymphoma and leukemia) and cardiovascular disease.

With a robust set of qualified biomarkers, disease diagnosis will be quicker, less invasive and more accurate. Moreover, treatment decisions will be tailored to the needs of each patient, the safety and effectiveness of new therapeutics will be enhanced and drug products will get to patients in less time.

The development of these biomarkers is the first step towards personalized medicine and will replace the conventional "one drug fits all" approach to disease management.

Med BioGene is currently trading in the $0.60 range.

Recent Developments

Also on February 15th, MBI announced it had entered the developmental phase for a genetic screening test for colorectal cancer.

In order to develop its sets of qualified biomarkers, MBI must secure tissue and blood samples from patients with pathologically categorized colorectal cancer. Under a protocol recently announced by the Ontario Cancer Research Ethics Board, MBI expects to acquire a substantial number of tissue and blood samples.

In Canada and the United States, CRC is the fourth most common cancer in both men and women, resulting in approximately 58,000 deaths each year. Approximately 170,000 Canadians and Americans will be diagnosed with CRC in 2007. Early detection of CRC significantly reduces its mortality rate.

Currently, the most widely used screening tool for CRC is Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), a very unpleasant test. If taken every 1-2 years, this test leads to a 15–33% reduction in deaths from CRC. However, false-positives are commonly experienced with this test, leading to costly, unnecessary and invasive tests, such as colonoscopy.

Only 37% of CRC cases are diagnosed while the tumor is localized and can be effectively treated, suggesting that current approaches to screening are ineffective. Not a surprise considering how unpleasant these test are.

Management says that currently there are no non-invasive and high predictive screening tests for colorectal cancer. Screening for colorectal cancer is a multi-billion dollar industry.