Additional funding enables expanding cancer detection product line

Feb. 12, 2010
Guided Therapeutics Inc. (GT; Norcross, GA) has received confirmation of additional funding from Konica Minolta Opto Inc. (KMOT) of Tokyo to co-develop new, non-invasive cancer detection products.

Guided Therapeutics Inc. (GT; Norcross, GA) has received confirmation of additional funding from Konica Minolta Opto Inc. (KMOT) of Tokyo to co-develop new, non-invasive cancer detection products.

The new funding, expected to be approximately $1.59 million over 12 months, is in addition to option to license payments GT currently receives from KMOT. Work on the project is expected to begin immediately. As part of the agreement, KMOT is expected to purchase prototype devices and rely on GT for establishing the technical approach and regulatory strategy for potential entry of the new products into the U.S. and international markets.

The agreement follows more than two years of collaborative preparations and the recent completion of a directional marketing study, commissioned by GT and KMOT, that confirmed the market opportunity for extension of GT’s LightTouch technology into new product areas.

“Now that we are moving into the production and international marketing phase of LightTouch for cervical cancer detection, we can utilize our experienced R&D team to expand our product portfolio,” said Mark L. Faupel, Ph.D., President and CEO of GT. “We are pleased to be working with Konica Minolta to extend the LightTouch platform into these new and exciting product areas.”

“KMOT is encouraged by the recent marketing studies, the work done to date by GT and looks forward to working with the company to co-develop and market non-invasive cancer detection products,” said Akira Suzuki, General Manager, LC Business Department for KMOT. “We believe that these products will be cost effective tools to help detect and treat cancer earlier, which is a key component of improving healthcare worldwide.”

The new products, for the detection of esophageal and lung cancer, are based on GT’s LightTouch non-invasive cervical cancer detection technology, which is undergoing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s premarket approval process. Lung cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the world and esophageal cancer ranks just below cervical cancer in newly diagnosed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the WHO, 1.2 million new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed every year across the world. In the U.S., lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, with 215,000 new cases and more than 161,000 deaths, according the American Cancer Society. Worldwide, new cases of esophageal cancer are estimated at 410,000, with more than 16,000 new cases and more than 14,000 deaths in the U.S. In Japan, home to KMOT, lung cancer kills more than 63,000 and esophageal cancer is responsible for more than 11,300 deaths, annually. A precursor to esophageal cancer is Barrett’s esophagus, which is caused by excessive acid reflux.

The Guided Therapeutics LightTouch Non-invasive Cervical Cancer Detection System is an investigational device and is limited by federal law to investigational use.

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