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Transgenomic Acquires ScoliScore™ AIS Prognostic Test from Axial Biotech

Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
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Commercially established, highly accurate test reduces dangerous radiation exposure in adolescents diagnosed with Scoliosis.

Transgenomic, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the global rights to Axial Biotech’s ScoliScore™ Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) Prognostic Test for a total consideration of $4.4 million in cash.

The acquisition provides Transgenomic with the ScoliScore™ assay technology and intellectual property, an established revenue and customer base and access to a market estimated at 400,000 patients in the United States.

“The acquisition of ScoliScore™ furthers Transgenomic’s strategic vision of investing in products and technologies with significant potential or that can benefit immediately from synergies available through our existing sales team, clinical laboratories and other infrastructure, including relationships with Medicare, Medicaid and other third-party payers. We believe that ScoliScore™ will contribute positively to earnings by the end of 2012, excluding any acquisition related charges,” said Craig Tuttle, Chief Executive Officer of Transgenomic.

ScoliScore™ is the first clinically validated and commercially available saliva-based multi-gene test that provides a highly accurate assessment of the likelihood of spinal curve progression for adolescent children diagnosed with AIS, or an abnormal lateral curve of the spine.

The ScoliScore™ Test helps to reduce the uncertainty of AIS progression and may help patients reduce the need for repeated doctor visits, physical examinations and years of exposure to radiation from frequent x-rays.

“AIS is the most prevalent adolescent deformity. Every year, 100,000 adolescent children are diagnosed with AIS. Only 2-4 percent of these affected children will progress to a severe spinal curve requiring surgical intervention. Despite this low rate of progression, adolescent children with scoliosis are routinely monitored by numerous physician office visits and are subjected to a high number of x-ray examinations. The ScoliScore™ Test identifies, with a high degree of accuracy, those individuals who are unlikely to progress to a point where surgery is needed, which can significantly reduce their radiation exposure from repeated x-ray monitoring,” commented Mr. Tuttle.

Ken Ward, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Axial Biosciences added, “Diagnosing AIS is routine, but predicting which patients have severe disease and need to be closely followed is challenging.
ScoliScore™ enables physicians to more efficiently and effectively manage the long-term care of adolescents with scoliosis. In a study completed by the National Cancer Institute, 5,466 women who had been monitored for Scoliosis and were exposed to 25 or more x-rays during their adolescent years were followed into adulthood and experienced a 67 percent increase in breast cancer death versus what you would expect in the normal population. The ScoliScore™ Test can predict, with a 99 percent accuracy rate, those subjects who will not progress to a severe curve, saving time, expense, patient and parent anxiety and potentially harmful exposure to radiation. No other currently available method of AIS evaluation is as accurate and convenient as ScoliScore™.”

The transaction is subject to the approval of Axial Biotech’s shareholders and other conditions and is expected to close in September 2012.

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