BG Medicine Announces Agreement With Kindstar Diagnostics Which Will Provide Galectin-3 Testing Services in China
WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGMD), a company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cardiovascular diagnostics, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Kindstar Diagnostics Co. Ltd., the largest esoteric diagnostic testing business in China, that will enable Kindstar to offer galectin-3 testing services for heart failure management in China. In the US, the BGM Galectin-3® test is cleared by the FDA as an aid in assessing the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure.
Kindstar, which provides laboratory testing services to over 2,000 Chinese hospitals, will offer galectin-3 testing services as part of its growing suite of cardiovascular tests. Kindstar has a broad reach and strong network in the burgeoning diagnostic testing market in China, which is in the process of reforming its health care system under its Healthy China 2020 initiative. While the country works to expand health care coverage for its 1.4 billion citizens by 2020, a substantial and increasing segment of the population currently pay out-of-pocket for essential medical services, which provides a ready market for diagnostic testing services like galectin-3 testing.
"We are excited to be partnering with Kindstar, the largest diagnostics lab in China, to further expand the footprint of galectin-3 testing throughout the world," said Eric Bouvier, President and Chief Executive Officer of BG Medicine. "Cardiovascular disease is one of the most prevalent and debilitating diseases in China, affecting more than 230 million people, and we believe that Kindstar's galectin-3 testing services will help to provide medical professionals with clinical information on fibrosis formation and cardiac remodeling, which are important biological processes in the development and progression of heart failure, while also helping to manage the costs of expanding health care coverage to more of China's citizens."
"Every minute six people in China die from cardiovascular disease, making it imperative that we do what we can to improve the lives of those affected," said Dr. Shiang Huang, Chief Executive Officer of Kindstar Diagnostics. "We believe that clinically relevant and novel markers like galectin-3 will help medical professionals in China identify patients who are at greatest risk for developing heart failure, which assists us to focus the most attention on those who need it."
In addition to this agreement with Kindstar in China, BG Medicine has marketing and distribution agreements with leading national and regional testing facilities in the United States, including Health Diagnostics Laboratory, Laboratory Corporation of America, Cleveland Heart Laboratory, Mayo, Atherotech and ARUP. BG Medicine has also partnered with leading diagnostic instrument manufacturers, including Abbott Laboratories, Alere, bioMerieux and Siemens, for the development and commercialization of automated versions of galectin-3 testing.
About Galectin-3 and Heart Failure
Galectin-3 is a unique carbohydrate-binding lectin, or protein, that binds to carbohydrates called beta-galactosides. Galectin-3 has been implicated in a variety of biological processes important in the development and progression of heart failure, and is believed to be a primary mediator of progressive cardiac fibrosis (abnormal thickening and stiffening of the heart muscle) and adverse remodeling (changes in the structure of the heart). Higher levels of galectin-3 are associated with a more aggressive form of heart failure and 30% or more of mild to moderate heart failure patients will have elevated levels of galectin-3. Heart failure affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans, with approximately 670,000 new cases occurring each year. The direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the United States for 2010 is estimated to be $39.2 billion.
About Kindstar Diagnostics Co.
Kindstar Diagnostics Co., Ltd., with laboratory facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, provides esoteric diagnostic testing services to hospitals and physicians in every province of China. Kindstar is the first and largest esoteric diagnostic testing business in China, providing laboratory testing services to over 2,000 Chinese hospitals, including 660 tertiary hospitals (Class III A and B). Kindstar is becoming the partner of choice to physicians in China for advanced diagnostics in many medical specialties including hematology, oncology, infectious diseases and medical genetics.
About BG Medicine, Inc.
BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BGMD) is a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel cardiovascular diagnostics to address significant unmet medical needs, improve patient outcomes and contain healthcare costs. The Company's first commercialized product, the BGM Galectin-3® test for use in patients with heart failure, is available in the United States and Europe. BG Medicine is also developing the CardioSCORE TM test, a blood test designed to identify individuals at high risk for near-term major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. For additional information about BG Medicine, heart failure and galectin-3 testing, please visit www.bg-medicine.com and www.galectin-3.com.
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Special Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
Certain statements made in this news release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that are intended to be covered by the "safe harbor" created by those sections. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies and expectations, can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terms such as "believe," "expect," "may," "will," "should," "could," "seek," "intend," "plan," "estimate," "anticipate" or other comparable terms. Forward-looking statements in this news release address our belief that Kindstar's offering of galectin-3 testing services will assist us to further expand the footprint of galectin-3 testing throughout the world; our belief that China is a ready market for diagnostic testing services like galectin-3 testing; our belief regarding the importance of galectin-3 testing, our belief regarding the expected benefits to the patients and payors in the health care system with the introduction of Kindstar offering galectin-3 testing services as part of its growing suite of cardiovascular tests, our belief that Kindstar's galectin-3 testing services will help to provide medical professionals with clinical information on fibrosis formation and cardiac remodeling, and our belief that earlier identification of patients using galectin-3 testing services may improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, as a result of various factors including those risks and uncertainties described in the Risk Factors and in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of our recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We urge you to consider those risks and uncertainties in evaluating our forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.