Vigilant Biosciences, Inc. (“Vigilant”), a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer, today announced three exclusive multi-year distribution agreements for sales and marketing of its OncAlert™ Oral Cancer product line in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Italy, South Africa, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
The new distribution partners include Bio-Connect Diagnostics B.V. for the distribution of the OncAlert Oral Cancer product line to the dental and medical markets in Benelux; Lagitre S.R.L. for the distribution of the OncAlert Oral Cancer product line in Italy and South Africa; and Isla Lab Products for the distribution of the OncAlert Oral Cancer product line in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. As part of the new multi-year deals the OncAlert Oral Cancer product line will be available to customers in these regions starting later this year.
Vigilant Biosciences has previously announced multiple distribution agreements throughout Europe, Africa and Asia/Pacific. The new agreements will further expand Vigilant Biosciences’ reach throughout Europe, Africa and Latin America and support the company’s goal to deliver accurate and cost-effective tools to aid clinicians in the diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer.
“Oral cancer is a growing problem not only in our region but worldwide, particularly with the increase in HPV-related oral cancer,” said Anand Lachmansingh, General Manager, Bio-Connect Diagnostics. “Having a simple, cost-effective, and non-invasive test can aid dental professionals and clinicians in detecting oral cancer earlier, which will help to improve outcomes from this disease.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 2,500 people in Benelux, 11,500 people in Italy, 7,900 people in South Africa, and 5,500 people in the Caribbean are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. In addition, according to WHO reports, more than 8.2 million people in Benelux, 12.65 million people in Italy, 3.93 million people in South Africa, and 6.29 people in the Caribbean are at risk for oral cancer due to factors inducing smoking, heavy drinking and having been diagnosed with HPV – all key risk factors for oral cancer.
“We are excited to partner with Vigilant Biosciences to bring the OncAlert tests to dental and medical professionals in Italy and South Africa,” said Gianfranco Gianella, Director, Lagitre. “Having an easy-to-use tool to aid in the detection of oral cancer earlier, when it is more treatable, will help us save lives. There is a clear need in the market for the OncAlert products.”
“We are pleased to announce that we have further expanded the distribution of the OncAlert product line with these recent distribution agreements,” said Matthew H.J. Kim, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences. “Globally, we have seen a rise in oral cancer rates in recent years, and new tools to aid in the diagnosis of oral cancer earlier are critical to reversing this trend. We look forward to working with Bio-Connect, Lagitre and Isla Lab Products, together with all of our partners, to provide innovative and cost-effective products that will result in earlier detection and intervention for patients at risk all over the world.”
About the OncAlert Oral Cancer Product Line
Vigilant Biosciences’ initial products, the 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 validated 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, HPV-16). The OncAlert LAB Test and the OncAlert RAPID Test are CE Marked. The OncAlert Oral Cancer product line is not yet available for sale in the U.S.
About Oral Cancer
There are more than 600,000 new cases of head and neck cancer each year worldwide. More than 48,000 individuals estimated in the United States alone will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year with close to 9,600 deaths resulting from this disease, killing roughly one person per hour, 24 hours per day. Worldwide, the mortality rates reach up to an estimated 360,000 deaths each year. 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 Bio-Connect Diagnostics B.V.
Bio-Connect specializes in the import and distribution of life science reagents into The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. It forms the distribution chain between foreign manufacturers active in this market and life science customers in the Benelux countries. The subsidiary, Bio-Connect Diagnostics is a distributor of innovative and high-quality products for the Diagnostics market in the Benelux countries. Customers are primarily in the medical and clinical research departments, as well as the life sciences research departments within universities, (academic) hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotech industries, as well as semi-government research institutes in the Benelux countries. Bio-Connect Diagnostics offers an extensive range of research and diagnostic products to be applied in the field of immunology, clinical chemistry, pathology, biochemistry, cell biology, neuroscience and microbiology.
About Lagitre S.R.L.
Lagitre S.R.L. was established in 1980 as a solutions provider to pathology laboratories, beginning with exclusive distribution of One Lambda products for HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) typing. This broadened into an agreement for distribution of a broad range of serology products, following the acquisition of One Lambda by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Today, Lagitre is exclusive distributor in Italy for many companies including IQ Products, BionichePharma, Art Robbins Instruments, Promega, Cedarlane Labs and Artel. In 2010, the company established Lagitre International s.r.l. for distribution of products throughout the African continent. At that time, Lagitre International Tunisia was established, followed in 2011 by Lagitre International South Africa.
About Isla Lab Products
Isla Lab Products, LLC was founded on 1977, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is a leader in the distribution of innovative technology for clinical laboratories, hospitals and other healthcare institutions. For more information, please visit www.islalab.com.
About Vigilant Biosciences, Inc.
Vigilant Biosciences is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid clinicians in the early detection and intervention of cancer. The Vigilant Biosciences OncAlert Oral Cancer product line and the OraMark™ Test by OncAlert Labs include point-of-care and lab-based products and services that are simple, accurate and cost-effective and that can empower healthcare practitioners to improve potential outcomes through earlier intervention. The OncAlert Oral Cancer LAB Test and the OncAlert Oral Cancer RAPID Test are CE Marked and available in select international markets outside the U.S. The OraMark Test is a Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) that is only available in the U.S. exclusively through OncAlert Labs, LLC, a CLIA-certified laboratory and a member of the Vigilant Biosciences family of companies. For more information, visit www.vigilantbiosciences.com and www.oncalertlabs.com.