By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report
MetaStat, the Boston-based molecular laboratory startup, has entered into an agreement to obtain a large cache of both tissue samples and deidentified patient data.
Under the terms of the deal, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals will provide tissue samples, clinical data and medical histories for up to 500 of its patients. The samples will contain some cases of metastatic breast cancer. The samples will then be subjected to the company’s two assays, MetaSite Breast and MenaCalc Breast.
The two tests are used to determine the likelihood that a solid tumor will become metastatic – migrate through the bloodstream to other parts of the body – and what clinical pathways that can be taken to retard their growth and spread. The MetaSite assay can be used for breast cancer cases, while the MenaCalc assay can be used to evaluate epithelial-based tumors, particularly for breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers.
“These tissues samples will allow us to independently verify and validate results from the recently published study on the prediction of distant metastasis of breast cancer … in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,” said Oscar Bronsther, M.D., MetaStat’s chief executive officer. “We look forward to initiating our validation study using the Kaiser tissue samples later this month and reporting these data to the medical community later this year.”
Financial terms of the contract with Kaiser were not disclosed.
The pact was announced just a few weeks after MetaStat closed the first round of a $3.5 million private equity placement. The initial placement, for $1.3 million, was based on a share price of 55 cents per share.
The company, which trades over the counter, has seen its stock price drop some 75 percent over the past year, from just under $2 a share in February 2014 to its current pricing. According to its recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it reported a net loss of $1.4 million in its fiscal quarter ending Nov. 30, estimated a $6.9 million loss for the first nine months of fiscal 2015, and has lost some $17.7 million since its inception. The company has yet to generate revenues.