Oct. 09--Sources inform "Globes" that Savicell Diagnostics Ltd., which is developing a blood test for cancer, is in talks to raise $30 million from Exact Sciences Corporation (Nasdaq: EXAS), a US company that has developed a stool sample test for colon cancer. The companies also discussed a possible acquisition of Savicell.
Savicell was founded in 2007 by its principle investigator, Prof. Fernando Patolsky (39), a specialist in nanotechnology and biotechnology at the Department of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University, who invented the technology, which was commercialized to Savicell by Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd. The company's technology uses substances that can differentiate the immune system's response in blood samples to cancer cells and healthy cells. Clinical trials, which have included hundreds of people to date, began two and a half years ago at the university, and then at the company.
Savicell claims that its blood test has succeeded in showing clear differences between patients and health people. The company's next goal is to find the "fingerprints" for each kind of cancer.
In the past year, Savicell has raised $2 million at a company value of $20 million. The valuation for the pending investment should be considerable higher.
Patolsky also founded Drink Sciences Ltd., which has developed a nanotechnology-based test to detect date rape drugs in beverages.
Savicell president and CEO is Giora Davidovits. Nevada-based Online Disruptive Technology Inc. (Bulletin Board: ONDR) owns 77 percent of Savicell, which is its main activity. Online Disruptive Technology latest financial reports have included a going concern warning, because its sole capital is $1 million raised in its last offering. Online Disruptive Technology states in its financial reports that the cancer laboratory testing market (not including imaging) has an annual turnover of $8 billion, and has double-digit growth.
25-30 new products that use blood tests to detect various kinds of cancer are due to reach the market in the coming years, but Savicell hopes that its test can detect cancer at even earlier stages, because it isolates the immune response, not substances excreted by tumor cells, and can hopefully detect cancer before a tumor grows and consolidates.
(c)2013 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Visit the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel) at www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/nodeview.asp?fid=942
Distributed by MCT Information Services