BioMark Diagnostics Looks At Early Cancer Detection

Cancer detection through blood tests is a cost-effective and convenient way to diagnose and treat cancers as opposed to more expensive and cumbersome ways to test for cancer such as biopsies. At an economical price point, cancer blood tests could even be used as preventative measures to catch cancer earlier and increase life expectancy. One Canadian company that’s looking to do just that is BioMark Diagnostics

Click for company websiteBioMark Diagnostics (CNSX:BUX) was first incorporated less than a year ago on June 19, 2014. The below statement by the Company describes their business model:

The Company is focused on the research, development and commercialization of its Acetylated Biomarker Assay (ABA) Red Alert technology. The Company’s diagnostic technology is a metabolomics-based diagnostic assay, which allows early cancer detection.

The process of cancer detection used by BioMark involves giving a patient the drug Amantadine in capsule form and then letting the patient’s body metabolize the drug. The same drug is then secreted in the urine and if it is acetylated then that is a sign of cancer being present. BioMark has a single patent protecting this method along with 4 other patent applications. Patent 6,811,976 was granted in 2004 and can be seen in its entirety by following this link.

BioMark states that they are conducting Phase 3 clinical trials in Bangladesh and Canada but it’s difficult to see how this can be taking place without proper funding. At the end of 2014, the Company had $98,700 USD in cash on hand with total assets $117,600 USD. Since then, BioMark raised $621,000 USD through private placements. That brings total cash on hand to just under $704,000 USD. Below you can see BioMark’s Q4-2014 expenses (in CAD):

BioMark_Q4_2014
Source: March 2, 2015, SEDAR Filing

Revenues for the quarter amounted to $7,586 USD which are too small to offset even the smallest of expenses. While the listing fee may have been a one-time expense, some of the other expenses are ongoing such as wages, research, and office. The money raised seems like it may keep the lights on for a while but certainly nothing near the amounts of capital needed to take a drug through Phase 3 clinical trials and then launch it. We’ve seen other cases where micro-cap companies with no cash on hand talk about how they are in the process of conducting clinical trials. Investors should always question where funding is coming from for any clinical trials as the process is laborious process and expensive.

BioMark Diagnostics began trading around 6 months ago and since then shares have lost -50% of their value giving the company a current market cap of around $19 million USD. The shares have also begun trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol (FRA:20B). In the U.S. markets, shares traded very briefly on the pink sheet market under (OTCMKTS:BMKDF).

BioMark Diagnostics (CNSX:BUX) has been set up perfectly to be a promoted stock whether intentionally or not. It has a low float with just 33 million shares outstanding. It is addressing an exciting market with huge potential; as the Company says, “90% of cancers are curable if caught early enough”. It has a key patent to hang its hat on. It has “revenues”. And most importantly it is in Phase 3 clinical trials meaning the payoff is “just around the corner”. Variations of this story have been told time after time by too many other failed companies.  For investors to take BioMark seriously they will need to see something that validates this technology as commercially viable. Big pharma partnerships (not just MOUs), some meaningful revenues, or some funds for clinical trials would all help instill confidence in investors that this isn’t just another case of a company that’s long on aspirations and short on funds.

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