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Makati Medical Center in the Philippines Adopts Precipio’s ICE COLD-PCR Mutation Enrichment Technology for Liquid Biopsies

One of Nation’s Premier Hospitals to Become Central Laboratory for Liquid Biopsies

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Specialty cancer diagnostics company Precipio, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRPO) announced that Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed) in Manila, the Philippines, has placed its first order for ICE COLD-PCR (ICP) as part of its agreement to serve as the exclusive central laboratory in the Philippines for Precipio’s ICP liquid biopsy technology.

MakatiMed will serve as the primary site to provide liquid biopsy services for its patients and other major hospitals in Manila, as well as other cancer centers around the country. With approximately 200,000 new cancer patients and 35,000 cancer-related deaths per year1, cancer is a leading cause of mortality in the Philippines. Precipio anticipates the market potential in the Philippines based on the gradual adoption of liquid biopsy over the next few years to generate 10,000 of tests annually, which would correlate to a revenue potential of $1-3M.

“MakatiMed is committed to consistently improving the healthcare offered to our patients. ICE COLD-PCR is a robust and cost-effective solution for liquid biopsies that addresses the surgical biopsy challenges, and provides our clinicians with the genetic information they need to effectively treat our patients,” said Dr. Jose Maria Avila, Chair of the Department of Pathology at MakatiMed. “We are delighted to partner with Precipio to serve as its central laboratory in the Philippines for liquid biopsy testing.”

The Philippine Market

With a population of approximately 100 million people, an estimated 15% of the Philippine population will develop cancer by the age of 75.2 Lung cancer is the top cause of cancer-related deaths among men, and the third leading cause of cancer deaths among women.3 According to the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), colorectal cancer is now the third leading type of cancer in the country.4 These are several of the cancers for which Precipio has developed targeted panels that can help physicians monitor their patients as they undergo treatment, to ensure that the therapy is matched to their current genetic profile.

MakatiMed is a premier innovation healthcare facility in the Philippines and is the pioneer for clinical research and healthcare advancements in the country today. In a country where most healthcare services are paid for out-of-pocket, the ability to offer low-cost, effective testing that can help physicians monitor the progress of their patients’ cancer and identify the correct therapies can have a substantial impact and appeal. ICE COLD-PCR testing aligns with the philosophy in the Philippines of offering innovative healthcare at an affordable cost, to accomplish broad reach.

Additionally, in the Philippines - much like in several Asian cultures (as well as other cultures worldwide) – there is a misconception surrounding invasive tumor biopsy procedures leading to tumor metastasis. Liquid biopsies offer the opportunity to provide a clinical answer without the invasiveness of a tumor biopsy, thus addressing this cultural belief. 

“The collaboration with MakatiMed is another positive step for Precipio and ICP into the Asian market.  We intend to continue to partner with premier institutions in the region that bring innovative healthcare technologies, such as liquid biopsies via ICP, to their patients,” said Stephen Miller, Precipio’s Chief Commercial Officer.  

About Makati Medical Center

Makati Medical Center is a 600-bed facility that is accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth’s Benchbook of standards as a Center of Excellence, and is accredited as a Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital under the Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFHI) program of the DOH, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).  MMC is also accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI).

MakatiMed Cancer Center provides compassionate cancer care to patients through its multidisciplinary approach to cancer management and treatment. The Center houses the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Adult and Pediatric Ambulatory Infusion Units, a self-contained Pharmacy Unit, research and conference rooms for multidisciplinary meetings, and consultation rooms, equipped with the most current cancer care technologies under the guidance of specialists who come from various clinical disciplines and specialties.  

About Precipio

Precipio has built a platform designed to eradicate the problem of misdiagnosis by harnessing the intellect, expertise and technology developed within academic institutions and delivering quality diagnostic information to physicians and their patients worldwide. Through its collaborations with world-class academic institutions specializing in cancer research, diagnostics and treatment such as the Yale School of Medicine and Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Precipio offers a new standard of diagnostic accuracy enabling the highest level of patient care. For more information, please visit www.precipiodx.com.

About ICE-COLD PCR™

ICE COLD-PCR is a non-allele specific mutation enrichment technology developed at the Dana Farber Institute and licensed exclusively to Precipio. Highly flexible, it can be used on any downstream DNA sequencing platform, on any sample type (e.g. Blood, FFPE).

The multiplexed technology offers significant advantages over current sequencing technologies. It delivers at least a 500-fold improvement in sensitivity compared to standard methods enabling detection levels as low as 0.1% on plasma (blood) samples. Also, its ultra-high sensitivity allows comprehensive genomic analyses using liquid biopsies at a fraction of the cost of competing assays.

Additionally, the use of the robust High Resolution Melt (HRM) technology as a screening tool after enrichment with ICP enables researchers to quickly and effectively rule out samples that are negative for a genetic mutation in the region of interest. Obtaining that information through a simple and quick up-front step potentially eliminates the need to perform more complex and costly genetic mutation detection (e.g. next generation sequencing, NGS), significantly reducing the cost, and turnaround time to hours instead of weeks.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements related to ICP technology, including financial projections related thereto and potential market opportunity, plans and prospects and other statements containing the words “anticipate,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the known risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the Company’s definitive proxy statement filed on May 29, 2018, the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2018 and on the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 as well as the Company’s prior filings and from time to time in the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any change in such factors, risks and uncertainties may cause the actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to in such statements. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release and the Company does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.

1 https://www.doh.gov.ph/philippine-cancer-control-program

2 http://www.cancerindex.org/Philippines

3 http://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/news/library-health-news/3540-lung-cancer

4 http://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/2-uncategorised/6267-colon-cancer-is-gaining-ground-but-it-can-be-beaten


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