The Resonance Health Group (ASX: RHT) today announced that it has filed a new US patent application claiming a novel non-invasive measure of liver structure with direct application to the non-invasive diagnosis of liver fibrosis. Chronic liver disease is responsible for over 1.4 million deaths annually and is among the top ten disease related causes of death in the United States. This gives rise to an expanding multi billion dollar market for diagnostics and therapies for liver fibrosis and its underlying causes.
Following completion of the current research program, which was supported through the Australian Commonwealth Government's Biotechnology Innovation Fund (BIF), Resonance Health will shift its focus towards the clinical development and commercialisation of a definitive non-invasive test for Fibrosis.
It is intended that the new test will utilise magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, with Resonance Health analysing the images remotely in the same way it does for FerriScan®, Resonance Health's non-invasive liver diagnostic product which was launched earlier this year. Resonance Health has already demonstrated its ability to secure rapid regulatory approvals for a product of this type, and will be able to launch the new test through channels currently established for FerriScan.
Dr James Williams, Managing Director of Resonance Health explained the new patent application marked significant progress in the research and represents a greatly increased likelihood that a non-invasive test for liver fibrosis can be developed.
"With more than 170 million people worldwide being chronically affected by hepatitis C, a major cause of progressive liver fibrosis, there is a huge worldwide demand for a non-invasive test that quantifies fibrosis accurately and painlessly. Meeting an immediate clinical need, the new test will significantly expand the company's market opportunity, whilst leveraging off infrastructure and resources already in place for the commercial roll-out of FerriScan."
Resonance Health currently has a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) open to eligible shareholders. In light of this significant achievement and potential market opportunity, Resonance Health advises that the deadline for application under the SPP will be extended to 11 November, 2005 to provide opportunity for further shareholders to take up their entitlement.
Source: Eurekalert & others
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