March 16, 2021 Melanie Schaffer , Benzinga Staff Writer
Why It Matters: Early detection of cancer greatly increases the survival rate and smaller biotech companies are showing leadership skills in developing the necessary technology.
Smaller companies develop specific technology for specific types of cancer which allows them to focus on creating tailored products that are also attractive for larger companies to acquire.
The following three companies have developed technology that could make them sought-after acquisition targets:
BioMark Diagnostics Inc BMKDF 14.93%, a biotech company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, has developed a state-of-the-art liquid biopsy technology platform for the early detection of cancer. The unique technology finds metabolomics biomarkers of hard-to-detect cancers of the lung, brain, ovarian and pancreas.
BioMark is pivoting into commercialization after many years in the research and development phase. On Feb. 16, the company announced it will collaborate with Phytronix Technologies Inc “to advance the development of BioMark’s early lung cancer screening applications using Phytronix-proprietary Laser Diode Thermal Desorption (LDTD) technology,” BioMark said in a press release.
The collaboration will also support BioMark in setting up clinical lab services in Quebec. BioMark plans to demonstrate its technology later in 2021.
BioMark’s market cap is $28.67 million and its shares are at 41 cents, up 13.17% on Tuesday morning.
Biocept Inc BIOC 1.84% is another company focusing on early cancer detection through blood-based liquid biopsy. The San Diego-based company has two platforms, CTC and ctDNA, used to detect and analyze a patient’s blood for cancer cells and mutations.
Biocept boasts 22 patents for its liquid-biopsy technology in the U.S., EU, Australia, China, Japan and South Korea.
On Feb. 16, Biocept announced its product, Target Selector, is ultra-sensitive and capable of detecting mutations using biopsy specimens usually be deemed “quantity not sufficient.”
In a pivot brought on by the pandemic, Biocept also announced on Feb. 3 its lab had processed 250 000 COVID-19 tests using its RT-PCR technology.
Biocept has a market cap of $79.98 million and the company’s shares are at $5.87, down 1.68% Tuesday morning.
HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc HTGM 0.82%, an Arizona-based biotech company, developed the EdgeSeq Oncology Biomarker Panel to detect colon, breast, prostate and lung cancer from tumor tissue. The analysis tool can detect 2,549 genes associated with tumor biology and results are available only 36 hours following the biopsy collection.
Unlike BioMark and Biocept, HTG Molecular uses Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens to test for cancers.
On Feb. 26, HTG Molecular announced its EdgeSeq technology “demonstrated the ability to generate unique gene expression profiles for multiple cancer indications” and the amount of tissue required in the samples was 4 to 8 times less than required for similar tests.
HTG Molecular has a market cap of $28.82 million and its shares area t $6.17, up 1.48% on Tuesday morning.
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