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Last-minute holiday shopping bags OncoDiagnotics for Predictive Biosciences
February 2010
by Kimberley Sirk  |  Email the author
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LEXINGTON, Mass.Predictive Biosciences did a little last-minute holiday shopping in December, closing a deal to acquire Cleveland-based OncoDiagnostic Laboratory (ODL), a private pathology laboratory through which the company will commercialize its proprietary non-invasive, molecular cancer diagnostic assays.  
 
Predictive aims to fill an unmet medical need for non-invasive, less expensive and highly reliable cancer screening tests, utilizing molecular biomarkers detected in urine samples and its novel technology. ODL's expertise in urology complements and furthers this strategic goal. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.  
 
The acquisition of ODL represents a step in Predictive's business plan, whereby it absorbs an established commercial operation and begins to launch commercially its high-performance assays for improved cancer management. Predictive Biosciences was launched in 2006 and is privately funded by Flybridge Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. The company's first assays are designed to detect urinary biomarkers fundamentally associated with the physiological changes resulting from cancer development and progression. The initial focus for these tests will be the growing cancer survivor population and the large number of individuals undergoing clinical workups for cancer.
 
Predictive is the first company to combine both protein and DNA biomarkers to maximize single assay performance, resulting in both high negative predictive values (NPV) and high positive predictive values (PPV), for the absence or presence of cancer, respectively. If adopted widely, the new test would supplant more invasive screenings. Ultimately, the goal is for physicians to use Predictive's test prior to invasive procedures such as cystoscopy and colonoscopy.  
 
The first in Predictive's portfolio of non-invasive assays is a urine-biomarker based test for the detection of bladder cancer, which the company plans to market this year. In addition, and based on the broad applicability of Predictive's technology, ODL will also support subsequent market launches for additional portfolio products, including prostate and breast cancer assays.  
 
ODL is a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA)-certified anatomic pathology and molecular diagnostics lab that serves urologists, gastroenterologists, dermatologists, gynecologists and other subspecialty physicians across the United States. It was launched in 1985 to serve a growing need for office-based urologists and other subspecialty physicians.  
Before the acquisition, ODL had in place a U.S. sales presence and research strength at its Cleveland base. The combined company will total approximately 80 employees between Lexington and Cleveland. Each company will remain in its current location. Predictive Vice President for Business Development and Co-Founder Eugene Chiu says the combined company plans to grow its sales force even further, and will be "selectively adding" research and development expertise to both locations this year.  
 
According to Chiu, ODL was not looking to be acquired. Predictive, he says, "conducted a broad and extensive survey of the marketplace to find a partner in the urology market." "It was a strategic move for us," Chiu says. "We are excited by the combination."  
 
He said that the acquisition combines Predictive's expertise in the measurement of the absence or presence of cancer, and that adding the novel subspecialty that ODL has developed in urology brings together two companies with similar cultures and strategic focuses.  
 
"Now all the pieces are in place," Chiu continues. "We believe we have cracked the code for building a successful molecular biology company."  
 
While Predictive gets scientific expertise and a web of sales professionals, ODL becomes a part of a 24-year-old venture that boasts a growing portfolio of novel cancer diagnostic assays that can help urologists confidently identify a patient's risk for cancer in a non- invasive, relatively simple and reliable manner. According to Chiu, ODL will not change its name, rather, it will be known as a "division of Predictive Biosciences."  
 
ODL representatives declined comment on the deal. Founded in 1985 by Drs. Cirilo Galang, Paul Johenning and John Maksem, ODL introduced the transrectal FNA biopsy of the prostate utilizing liquid phase fixation. ODL's pathologists, in collaboration with Dr. Donald Gleason, developed the Gleason grading of prostate cancer using the FNA technique. The company also developed a proprietary non-carcinogenic fixative, OncoFix II, which allows for dual histological and cytological examination of prostate biopsies.

 
Code: E021015

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