Arbor Vita and PATH receive Phase 1 SBIR funding for cervical cancer diagnostic

June 28, 2006 by PATH

Ellen Cole, 206.285.3500,
Debra Bannister, Arbor Vita Corporation, 530.676.8001,

Sunnyvale and Seattle, June 28, 2006–Arbor Vita Corporation, a biotechnology company, and PATH, an international, nonprofit organization, received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of US $600,000 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The two-year grant will fund collaborative research between Arbor Vita and PATH to develop a lateral flow test (similar to a simple pregnancy test) with enhanced sensitivity to detect precancerous cervical lesions using E6, a protein marker associated with cervical cancer.

"We are excited about this Phase I SBIR award from the NCI, as it points to the significance of the technology we are developing," stated Peter Lu, Arbor Vita founder, president, and chief executive officer. "The unique properties of our technology provide the basis for the detection of proteins which are overexpressed in certain diseases, such as the E6 protein in cervical cancer. Our proprietary approach is ideal to meet the cervical cancer screening needs for areas of the world with limited resources and medical infrastructure. In addition, the platform technology has broad applications in multiple commercial markets."

Bernhard Weigl, PATH diagnostics team leader, agreed with Peter Lu's sentiment. "This work with Arbor Vita is perfectly aligned with PATH's mission to improve the health of people around the world through innovation and advancing technologies. We are excited to further our collaboration with Arbor Vita."

This research is in conjunction with PATH's Screening Technologies to Advance Rapid Testing (START) project, which seeks to develop low-cost, easy-to-use, culturally acceptable tests for cervical cancer screening. The START project is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to PATH. In collaboration with Chinese and Indian counterparts, PATH is coordinating the collection of clinical specimens for research and development, overseeing clinical evaluation, and researching issues such as women's and other stakeholders' needs and preferences. PATH is also conducting cost-effectiveness modeling and commercialization planning. Following the successful completion of research and development, and validation of the lateral flow test, Arbor Vita will be responsible for obtaining necessary regulatory approvals as well as manufacturing and selling the test at an affordable price in India, China, and other developing countries.

PATH is an international, nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions that enable communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. By collaborating with diverse public- and private-sector partners, PATH helps provide appropriate health technologies and vital strategies that change the way people think and act.