AUCKLAND, New Zealand–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Men with suspected prostate cancer are being urged to help Caldera
Health perfect its urine diagnostic test.
Molecular diagnostic firm Caldera Health is in the final stages of
developing a proprietary gene-sequencing test, but it needs more biopsy
samples from men to further prove its concept.
Some of that help may come from Taiwan following a visit by Taiwan’s
Deputy Health and Welfare Minister Tzou-Yien Lin and members of the
Nomura Research Institute. Caldera was one of two companies specially
selected for its investment potential, but Dr Lin says the 8000 bed
hospital group he has worked for may well be keen to participate in the
current clinical trials.
Caldera Health’s managing director Graham Watt says the company plans to
replace the controversial PSA blood test with men being able to simply
“pee in a pot”. The urine would then be tested for RNA biomarkers.
“We have done enough to know the urine test is possible, but for our
test to stand up in the medical world we need to further validate our
biomarker panel from many more biopsy samples,” Mr Watt says. “We need
more men to give their permission to their urologists to send us a small
part of those samples.”
Mr Watt is a former executive at Roche Diagnostics, part of the Roche
Group, the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs. He says Caldera Health
conducted its first trial last year, using stored prostatectomy tissue,
to establish RNA expression changes that correlated with the Gleason
Score currently used to confirm prostate cancer from biopsy samples.
Caldera Health uses a Next Generation Sequencing platform to run its
analytical processes and novel integrated software and it has capacity
to run hundreds of samples. It has filed patent in 2009 and 2010 and is
about to file another.
The company is also in the midst of raising capital to accelerate its
clinical studies and put the research in front of potential commercial
partners. It has attracted NZ$5.93 million since it was founded in 2009
from investors including the NZ Government’s Venture Investment Fund and
its science commercialisation arm Callaghan Innovation and Sir Stephen
Tindall’s K1W1. Chairman Alastair MacCormack says they are now
responding to international interest.
For more information contact:
Watt, +64 21459159