PATH and AVC Corporation to collaborate on cervical cancer screening test development

September 13, 2004 by PATH

Ellen Cole, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer, PATH, 206.285.3500,
Peter Kilner, Vice President, Business Development, Arbor Vita Corporation, 408.585.3911,

Seattle, Washington, and Sunnyvale, California, September 13, 2004—PATH, an international, nonprofit organization, and Arbor Vita Corporation (AVC) today announced their partnership to develop a cervical cancer screening test tailored to meet the distinctive needs of low-resource countries.

The agreement is part of PATH’s Screening Technologies to Advance Rapid Testing (START) project, which was initiated to develop low-cost, easy-to-use, culturally acceptable tests for cervical cancer screening, suitable for areas of the world with minimal resources and medical infrastructure. The START project was initiated in January 2003 with a $13 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to PATH.

PATH and AVC are collaborating to develop a rapid strip test to detect precancerous cervical lesions using a protein marker associated with cervical cancer. Following the successful completion of research and development and validation, AVC will obtain necessary regulatory approvals and sell the product on a long-term basis at an affordable price in India and China as well as other developing countries. In collaboration with Chinese and Indian counterparts, PATH will coordinate the collection of clinical specimens for research and development, oversee clinical evaluation, and research issues such as women’s and other stakeholders’ needs and preferences, as well as contribute to cost-effectiveness modeling and commercialization planning. The research and development phase of the project is estimated to require about four years, with PATH providing AVC payments upon implementation of the project plan and achievement of specified milestones.

AVC has been developing diagnostic tools and therapeutics directed at cervical cancer since 2000 using its proprietary proteomic tools specialized for certain intracellular protein signaling pathways. These tools include a reference set of properly folded proteins, a high throughput screen for PDZ interactions, predictive molecular modeling, and a laboratory information management system.

PATH has worked for more than 25 years to bring appropriate health technologies to low-resource regions. For the past decade, PATH has championed the cause of cervical cancer prevention in developing countries, and has worked to bring this issue to the attention of the international health community. In 1999, PATH coordinated with four other agencies to develop the Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention. For more information, visit

About AVC

AVC is a privately held biotechnology company focusing on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics and diagnostic tools directed at protein targets involved in organizing intracellular signaling. Founded in 1998, AVC has built a powerful drug and diagnostic discovery platform based on the role of these protein targets in modulating disease pathways. The company is developing innovative therapeutics and diagnostics targeting diseases in oncology, neurology, cardiology, and virology.