Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. (“Vigilant”), a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer, announced today that it has entered into a three-year exclusive sales and marketing agreement with Crown Dental + Medical Limited for the distribution of the OncAlert™ Oral Cancer product line in New Zealand. The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line includes the OncAlert Oral Cancer RAPID Test (“OncAlert RAPID Test”) and the OncAlert Oral Cancer LAB Test (“OncAlert LAB Test”).
Crown Dental + Medical will be showcasing the OncAlert products in booth 60-61, at the New Zealand Dental Association Conference 2015, taking place this week at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland.
Under the terms of the agreement, Crown Dental + Medical will exclusively market and sell the OncAlert RAPID Test and OncAlert LAB Test to the dental and medical markets in New Zealand pursuant to New Zealand regulatory approvals of the products, which are expected in Q2. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Christchurch, New Zealand, Crown Dental + Medical is a leading distributor and marketer of high-quality, innovative products for dental and medical health providers in New Zealand.
“We are excited to partner with Vigilant Biosciences to bring this exciting new technology to patients in New Zealand,” said Ross Gunn, Director, Crown Dental + Medical Limited. “The ability to test for oral cancer earlier, before it has progressed to a later stage, will help us save lives. The products are easy to use and easy to integrate into a standard dental practice, making them valuable new tools in our arsenal to fight this disease.”
In a recent study, published in April 2015, University of Auckland scientists revealed a “rapid rise” in diagnoses for oropharyngeal cancer – a type of mouth cancer – in New Zealand men aged 40 and over. Additionally, according to the New Zealand Ministry of Health more than 600 thousand people in New Zealand use tobacco, and over 550 thousand are heavy drinkers – both key risk factors for oral cancer.
“We are pleased to announce the agreement with Crown Dental + Medical for the sale of our OncAlert product line in New Zealand,” said Matthew H.J. Kim, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. “New Zealand is among the many countries that have seen a rise in oral cancer rates in recent years, and new tools to help assess risk and diagnose early are critical to reversing this trend. Through our partnership with Crown Dental + Medical, our goal is to provide innovative, accurate and cost-effective products that will result in earlier detection and intervention for patients.”
About the OncAlert Oral Cancer Product Line
Vigilant Biosciences’ initial products, the OncAlert Oral Cancer RAPID Test (“OncAlert RAPID Test”) and the OncAlert Oral Cancer LAB Test (“OncAlert LAB Test”), are the first and only technologies that measure soluble CD44 and total protein levels – protein markers clinically shown to be associated specifically with oral cancer when measured in an oral rinse – to aid clinicians in the early detection and intervention of oral cancer. Both products use a simple, oral rinse collection and measurement procedure that is easy to administer and non-invasive for the patient. The accurate, cost-effective tests can benefit every adult, with particular emphasis on high-risk populations (i.e., current and former tobacco users, those who consume excessive alcohol, and people with human papillomavirus). The OncAlert LAB Test is CE Marked. The OncAlert RAPID Test is currently undergoing the CE Mark registration process and not yet available for sale in any market at this time. The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line is not yet available for sale in the U.S.
About Oral Cancer
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, there are over 640,000 new cases of oral cancer each year worldwide. In the U.S., close to 48,250 individuals will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, with 9,575 deaths from the disease, killing roughly one person per hour, 24 hours per day. Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high due to late-stage diagnosis and intervention. Currently, the vast majority of patients are detected through a visual exam and/or are symptomatic, at which point they are likely late stage. As a result, oral cancer often goes undetected to the point of metastasizing. Early diagnosis of oral cancer results in a cure rate of up to 90 percent.
About Crown Dental + Medical Limited
Incorporated in 1978, Crown Dental + Medical Limited has over 35 years of trading, making it one of New Zealand’s most experienced suppliers of dental, medical and veterinary products. The Company serves both the dental, medical and veterinary professions throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, dealing primarily in consumable products and small equipment items. Representing a strong lineup of quality international manufacturers, Crown offers up-to-the-minute products from around the world.
About Vigilant Biosciences, Inc.
Vigilant Biosciences is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer. Vigilant’s OncAlert Oral Cancer product line includes rapid and lab-based products that are simple, accurate and cost-effective, and empower healthcare practitioners to improve lives through earlier intervention. The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line is not yet available for sale in the U.S. For more information, visit www.vigilantbiosciences.com.