The second MOU is more indicative of what Tauriga will look like going forward. Tauriga is seeking relationships with innovative medical device companies with exciting large market product opportunity. Tauriga, through its MOU, is establishing a Joint Venture Partnership with Massachusetts-based Constellation Diagnostics Inc. to develop and commercialize a novel, imaging-based diagnostic technology for use in predictive and preventative oncology. Constellation has already begun development collaborating with professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Tauriga has the potential of acquiring up to 35% of Constellation based upon two more tranches of investment totaling $2.5 million, including the $100,000 already invested. The goal of the Joint Venture is to complete a working prototype during 2013 and submit the product for FDA 510-K approval.
Christian Bailey, the President of Constellation, explained that the technology will assist Dermatologist, Oncologists and General Practitioners to quickly and accurately map and monitor the freckles and moles of patients. The map will record the color, size and location of the freckles and moles to create a map similar to the constellations of stars. The technology will only upload the map, not photos of the patients, to preserve patient privacy. Doctors and patients can then remap the body's marking as often as once a month, and Constellation's software will detect the changes in the size and color of freckles and moles, which can be an indication of the early onset of skin cancer. Mr. Bailey expects that high risk patients will be able to use this technology in the comfort of their own homes eventually. Doctors will be able to utilize this data to determine if further steps need to be taken to prevent or treat skin cancer.
Skin cancer incidences are growing rapidly in the United States. The Mayo Clinic released a study, in April 2012, tracking the cases of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, in Olmstead County, Minnesota, from 1970 to 2009. The result were stunning, melanoma incidence were eight-times higher in women between the ages of 18 to 39, and four-times higher in men in the same age group. Melanoma incidences are growing at over 3% per year since the early 1990's, and have the fastest growing cancer incidence rate in the world. Other types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma incidences are also growing rapidly. The CDC says one in every five Americans will encounter skin cancer in their lifetime. Constellation's products will address a large market need and could be accepted by doctors as a tool to predict and prevent skin cancer in their patients.
Tauriga's Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Stella M. Sung, commented, "The Company is excited to partner with Constellation Diagnostics Inc. and its collaborators at world class academic institutions to develop a commercially-viable product that utilizes next generation imaging technologies to enable early and thorough detection of skin cancers. Early detection makes an enormous difference in survivability, and this technology would address an important medical need." This Joint Venture could bring strong value to shareholders within the next few years.
Tauriga will need to raise money to fulfill their commitments to the agreements they have entered over the course of the next six months. We are hearing that there will likely be some dilution, but that the money is earmarked to complete the agreements, which are focused on increasing shareholder value. Word is that the first money in will be invested in Constellation Diagnostics, Inc. to ensure the prototype gets completed as quickly as possible.
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