IPO Watch: There’s another company seeking to detect cancer using blood tests listing on the ASX next week
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A growing trend in healthcare has been replacing various forms of invasive tests with blood tests, and BCAL Diagnostics (ASX:BDX) is the next in line to join the cohort.
BCAL Diagnostics has spent nearly a decade developing a blood test to detect breast cancer and is listing on the ASX on Wednesday having raised $10 million at 25 cents per share.
Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY) is another company working on a blood test to detect cancer – specifically colorectal cancer.
This company listed in 2017 and after a slow couple of years is up 360 per cent since listing as it pushed closer to the long promised clinical trial.
BCAL’s listing comes little over a fortnight after the listing of Lumos Diagnostics (ASX:LDX) which also has a finger-prick blood test but for respiratory diseases generally.
But BCAL is fighting breast cancer which is the most common cancer among women with 2 million cases annually and approximately 627,000 resulting deaths.
It is hoping to use the IPO proceeds to develop further clinical data and obtain regulatory approval – initially in Australia.
The company is run by former NSW health minister Ron Phillips and former Vision Group executive Jayne Shaw.
Stockhead spoke with Shaw last week and she said the current standard to detect breast cancer is mammography but because it is invasive, it isn’t taken up by everyone – 50 per cent of those eligible self-exclude.
“It’s painful, it’s uncomfortable, there’s cultural reasons [why it is unacceptable] and it’s a quite painful process,” Shaw said.
“However if you go to your GP regularly and they say get your blood checked – a blood test is accessible for most people.
“I personally believe if you have a blood test that detects for cancer it’s far more acceptable to women in the general community because they’re used to it.
“We’re not going to replace mammograms but this will provide screening and accessibility for women.”
Shaw she said the time was right after a decade of raising money privately.
“Going to the markets for us at this time – it’s obviously a challenge – but the purpose is to raise the funds to commence clinical trials,” Shaw said.
“And there are a lot of investors who want to invest in this. We’ve got women who’ve had breast cancer or people that’ve been through it and want to make some form of difference and want to be a part of this journey.
“We are on a journey, it’s going to be the next few years before we get test to market but the whole organisation is committing to delivering that goal.”