LONDON, Ontario October 24, 2003 – Stellar International Inc. (TSXV: YYS OTCBB:SLRXF ), a Canadian pharmaceutical developer and marketer of high quality, cost-effective products for select health care markets, today reported that it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Matritech, Inc. to market in Canada Matritech’s NMP22® BladderChek™, a proteomics-based diagnostic test for the diagnosis and monitoring of bladder cancer. NMP22 BladderChek is the first and only rapid assay approved by the FDA for diagnosis and monitoring that physicians can use in their offices to help identify patients with bladder cancer. NMP22 BladderChek detects a bladder cancer nuclear matrix protein known as NMP22 in urine of patients.
Peter Riehl, Stellar’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to announce this agreement, which builds on Stellar’s focus of providing unique, cost effective products to the Canadian medical community. The NMP22 BladderChek test is a simple to use, point-of-care, in vitro diagnostic test for bladder cancer that provides results while the patient is in the physician's office. We estimate that there are over 200,000 potential patient tests for NMP22 BladderChek each year. NMP22 BladderChek is very complementary to Stellar’s Uracyst®-S, GAG replenishment therapy, which is also prescribed by Urologists”.
Stellar International Inc has developed and is marketing three products in Canada based on its core polysaccharide technology: NeoVisc®, for the treatment of osteoarthritis, Uracyst®-S and Uracyst® Test Kit, Stellar’s patented technology for the diagnosis and treatment of Interstitial Cystitis (IC), an inflammatory disease of the urinary bladder wall.
Matritech, Inc. (Newton MA) - As one of the first companies to successfully employ proteomics to create diagnostic products. Matritech has identified proteins correlated with bladder, cervical, breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Matritech holds one of two FDA tumor marker approvals for the initial detection of cancer, and its FDA-approved NMP22® BladderChek™ point-of-care device is currently used by hundreds of urologists. Matritech has also entered into long-term relationships with Sysmex Corporation to develop an advanced system to reduce the cost and improve the reliability of Pap smears, one of the world’s largest cancer diagnostic tests. In addition Matritech has programs to develop blood-based tests for breast cancer (NMP66™) and prostate cancer (NMP48™). NMP technology is licensed exclusively to Matritech from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties impacting the Company’s business including increased competition; the ability of the Company to expand operations, to attract and retain qualified professionals, technological obsolescence; general economic conditions; and other risks detailed time to time in the Company’s filings