BURNABY, British Columbia – March 8, 2012 –
LED Dental Inc. has launched Second Step Laboratory Services in the Canadian market, enabling dentists to offer their patients a complete, seamless and timely service in the screening, detection and diagnosis of oral cancer.
Over the past five years, LED Dental Inc. has sold more than 10,000 VELscopes®, the most powerful Health Canada and FDA-approved tool to screen for oral cancer, a growing health-care issue in Canada and around the world. Used by dentists, the VELscope® helps detect early stage oral cancer and pre-cancer and other abnormalities in the mouth such as viral, fungal and bacterial infections that might otherwise have been overlooked.
VELscope®’s screening capability and Second Step’s lab services provide a turn-key process from identifying a potential lesion through to diagnosis. The enhanced service simplifies the tissue sampling process and accelerates the turn-around time for pathology tests and biopsies.
“Second Step allows dental professionals to improve the level and quality of care they provide to their patients, and ensure that care is delivered in a timely manner,” said Peter Whitehead, CEO of LED Dental and its parent company, LED Medical Diagnostics Inc. (“LED Medical”, “the Company”). “We are excited to offer VELscope® users a complete detection and diagnosis service while adding a new product line for LED Medical.”
Prior to the introduction of Second Step Laboratory Services, patients with lesions identified by the VELscope Vx® and requiring further investigation or biopsy were typically referred to a medical doctor for follow up and final diagnoses. However, through Second Step Laboratory Services, dentists can collect the tissue sample and send it to Second Step.
LED Medical has partnered with Perceptronix Laboratories (PMI Labs) to offer Second Step services in the Canadian market, where approximately 2,000 VELscope Vx® systems are in use. PMI Labs is an accredited, five-year-old full service lab based in Vancouver, B.C.
“We are excited to partner with LED to extend the benefit of conventional and quantitative cytology and biopsy services to dental professionals across the country,” said Bojana Turic, PMI Labs CEO.
The early detection of oral cancer is critical to saving patient’s lives because the earlier oral cancer is detected, the greater the chances for patient survival. Today, oral cancer is most often detected in its late stages, when the five-year survival rate is less than 50%. When detected early, however, the five-year survival rate leaps to more than 82%.
The incidence of oral cancer is growing, and all sexually active people are at risk. Today, 25% of new oral cancers are affecting people outside of the traditional at-risk group of people who drink and smoke due largely to the increase in certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and certain types of HPV have been linked to increased risk of cancer.
“People need to be aware of the rising incidence of oral cancers and the need to screen for and diagnose oral cancers at the earliest possible stages,” said Dr. Samson Ng, a Canadian and American Board Certified specialist in oral medicine & pathology and clinical assistant professor at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia (UBC). “Early detection and timely access to care for oral cancer saves lives.”
The typical VELscope®-equipped clinic discovers 200 lesions per year that could benefit from Second Step pathology services as the next step in the diagnosis and treatment process. Should a sample be identified as possibly malignant, a surgical biopsy can then be requested and completed by Second Step to complete the cycle and ensure patients can be treated as quickly as possible.
Once the service has been rolled out and established nationally, LED Medical anticipates as many as 10,000 tests will be performed annually in the Canadian market. LED Medical intends to expand the offering into the US market through the end of 2012 and early 2013 to make this valuable service available to VELscope Vx® users and their patients throughout North America.
The VELscope Vx® is exclusively distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSIC) (www.henryschein.com), the world’s largest dental distribution firm. The VELscope Vx® has been used to conduct more than 10 million oral cancer exams, more than any other technology in the world.
About LED Medical Diagnostics Inc.
Founded in 2003, LED Medical Diagnostics Inc. (TSX VENTURE:LMD) is a fast-growing public company offering effective early-stage oral cancer detection technologies in 23 countries worldwide. The company makes the VELscope Vx, the most powerful tool for detecting early stage oral cancer approved by the FDA, Health Canada and European regulators. The company is headquartered in Burnaby British Columbia, Canada. For more information please call +1 (604) 434-4614, or visit www.VELscope.com.
About VELscope Vx®
The VELscope Vx® is the most powerful FDA-approved tool used to screen for oral cancer. It saves lives helping detect early stage oral cancer and pre-cancer and other abnormalities in the mouth such as viral, fungal and bacterial infections. The VELscope Vx® is exclusively distributed worldwide through a partnership with Henry Schein, the world’s largest dental distribution company. For more information please call +1 (604) 434-4614, or visit www.leddental.com.