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Results Conclusively Demonstrate the Non-Invasive Skin Cancer Detector's Diagnostic Accuracy and Potential for Reducing Unnecessary Biopsies

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 7:45am
The Associated Press

(http://www.verisante.com/)

Verisante Technology, Inc.(http://www.verisante.com/) (TSX

VENTURE:VRS)(OTCQX:VRSEF)(PINKSHEETS:VRSEF)(FRANKFURT:V3T) (the

"Company" or "Verisante"), a leader in cancer detection technology,

announced today that the results of the statistical analysis completed

by researchers at Vancouver General Hospital ("VGH"), the BC Cancer

Agency ("BCCA"), and the University of British Columbia ("UBC") on

data from a clinical study of the Verisante Aura, have been accepted

for publication by Cancer

Research(http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/), a peer reviewed journal

of the American Association of Cancer Research(http://www.aacr.org/)

("AACR").

The paper, titled Real-time Raman spectroscopy for in vivo skin cancer

diagnosis(http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/20/0008-5472.CAN-11-4061.abstract),

was co-authored by Drs. Harvey Lui, Jianhao Zhao, David McLean and

Haishan Zeng. The Company previously

announced(http://verisante.com/news/73/verisante-aura-clinical-study-data-analysis-presented-at-spie/)

the preliminary results of the analysis in January this year to

coincide with the invited presentation by Dr. Haishan Zeng,

distinguished scientist in the Integrative Oncology Department

(Imaging Unit) at the BCCA and associate professor of dermatology and

skin science at UBC, at SPIE, an international society advancing an

interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light.

"It is an honour to be accepted for publication in Cancer Research,"

said Dr. Harvey Lui, director of the Skin Care Centre at VGH,

dermatologic oncologist at the BCCA, professor and head, Department of

Dermatology and Skin Science, UBC, and one of the inventors of the

Aura. "This study clearly demonstrates that the Verisante Aura has

significant diagnostic accuracy in distinguishing malignant from

benign skin lesions and offers the potential for reducing unnecessary

biopsies by 50 per cent to 100 per cent. An additional advantage of

using Aura as an objective tool to assist medical professionals in

diagnosing skin cancer is that the device requires less extensive user

training and expertise than other traditional diagnostic approaches."

Skin cancer is currently diagnosed based on visual examination by a

clinician, followed by a biopsy of suspicious lesions. Previous

research has shown that the accuracy of clinicians in correctly

diagnosing skin cancer is highly variable and dependent upon the level

of formal training and experience of the clinician. Biopsy ratios (the

number of non-melanoma lesions that undergo biopsy for each confirmed

melanoma) can range from 58:1 to 21:1, for new versus experienced

general practitioners, and could be as high as 200:1 if all atypical

pigmented lesions were to be biopsied to rule out melanoma.

The study shows that when using Verisante Aura to diagnose melanoma

versus benign pigmented lesions at a sensitivity of 99 per cent and a

specificity of 15 per cent, the biopsy ratio would be 5.6:1. At a

sensitivity of 95 per cent and a specificity of 44 per cent, the

biopsy ratio could decrease to 3.8:1. When using Aura to diagnose

skin cancer and pre-cancerous lesions versus benign lesions, at a

sensitivity of 99 per cent and a specificity of 17 per cent, Aura has

a biopsy ratio of 1.03:1, and with a sensitivity of 90 percent and a

specificity of 68 per cent, the biopsy ratio can be as low as 2.3:1.

"The results of the clinical study data analysis, when compared to

clinical diagnostic accuracy and biopsy ratios, demonstrate the

effectiveness of the Aura to serve a large unmet need," said Thomas

Braun, President & CEO, Verisante Technology, Inc. "This clearly

suggests that Verisante Aura offers a statistically significant

improvement in the detection of skin cancer. We look forward to

sharing the full study data with doctors in Canada, Europe and

Australia, where Aura is approved for sale, as we move forward

towards full production and sales in the second half of 2012."

Early detection is key to saving the lives of melanoma patients and

saving healthcare costs. When melanoma is diagnosed and treated in the

earliest stages, the survival rate is 99 per cent and it costs about

$1,800 to treat it. In the late stages, the survival rate decreases to

15 per cent, while the cost to treat it increases to $170,000.

Verisante Aura is a non-invasive optical system designed as a tool to

aid medical professionals in the assessment of suspect skin lesions

for diagnosis as either skin cancer or a benign disorder. It uses

Raman spectroscopy to biochemically analyze the skin, providing

immediate results.

Aura is indicated for use for the evaluation of skin lesions that may

be clinically suspicious for melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal

cell carcinoma, and/or actinic keratosis when a medical professional

chooses to obtain additional information to rule out one of the above

conditions before making a final decision to biopsy. The device will

help to automate the current process of diagnosis, allowing rapid

scanning of the 20 to 40 skin lesions on at-risk individuals,

improving patient outcomes and comfort.

About Cancer Research

Cancer Research is the most frequently cited cancer journal in the

world. The journal publishes original studies, reviews, and opinion

pieces offering significance and broad impact to a diverse audience

spanning basic, preclinical, clinical, prevention and epidemiological

research. Cancer Research seeks manuscripts that offer pathobiological

and translational impact to inform the personal, clinical, and

societal problems posed by cancer. The main scope of the journal is

captured in its primary subsections, which focus on molecular and

cellular pathobiology, tumor and stem cell biology, therapeutics and

targets, microenvironment and immunology, prevention and epidemiology,

and integrated systems and technology.

About the American Association of Cancer Research

The American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) was founded in 1907

by a group of 11 physicians and scientists interested in research, "to

further the investigation and spread the knowledge of cancer." Today,

the AACR accelerates progress toward the prevention and cure of cancer

by promoting research, education, communication, and collaboration. It

is the oldest and largest scientific organization in the world that

focuses on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research

and its reputation for scientific breadth and excellence attract the

premier researchers in the field.

About Verisante Technology, Inc.

Verisante is a medical device company(http://www.verisante.com/about/)

committed to commercializing innovative systems for the early

detection of cancer(http://www.verisante.com/). The Verisante Aura

for skin cancer detection(http://www.verisante.com/products/aura/) and

the Verisante Core series for lung, colon and cervical cancer

detection(http://www.verisante.com/products/core/) utilize a

proprietary cancer detection platform while the operating software and

probe technology are unique to each device. The cancer detection

platform was developed by the BC Cancer Agency and tested and refined

at the Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. This exclusive

platform technology allows Verisante to develop and offer a range of

compact, non-invasive cancer detection devices that offer physicians

immediate results(http://www.verisante.com/products/aura/) for many of

the most common cancers. The Aura has been approved for sale in

Canada, Europe and Australia. The Core has not yet been approved for

sale.

Verisante Aura was recently awarded Popular Science Magazine's "Best

of What's New

Award(http://www.popsci.com/bown/2011/product/verisante-aura)" for

2011, and Verisante Core was named one of the top 10 cancer

breakthroughs(http://verisante.com/news/72/canadian-cancer-society-names-verisante-core-a-top-10-cancer-breakthrough-of-2011-/)

of 2011 by the Canadian Cancer Society. In addition, the Company was

named a finalist for the 2011 Regional Awards for New

Technology(http://cme-mec.ca/?actionshow&lidJCKNC-E742G-1W6JA&cid39A7P-BQXJT-NYWII&comactionshow)

by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and the National Research

Council of Canada and named as the year's top ranking Technology and

Life Sciences Company on the TSX Venture

50(http://www.tmx.com/en/news_events/news/news_releases/2012/2-15-2012_TMXGroup-2012Venture50.html).

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not

limited to, statements regarding the future commercialization of

medical devices, the market demand for these products and the

proprietary protections the Company will obtain with regard to the

technology, all of which statements are subject to market risks, and

the possibility that the Company will not be able to obtain patent

protection or obtain sufficient customer demand. These statements are

made based upon current expectations and actual results may differ

from those projected due to a number of risks and uncertainties.

The TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved of the

contents of this press release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor

its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the

policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the

adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

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