SOURCE: Pacific Biometrics, Inc.

Pacific Biometrics, Inc.

November 08, 2010 09:40 ET

Pacific Biomarkers Awarded $244K Under Health Care Reform Program

Grant Reimburses Amounts Expended in FY 2009-2010

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - November 8, 2010) -  Pacific Biomarkers, Inc. (OTCBB: PBMC), a provider of biomarker laboratory services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries, reported that it received an award of approximately $244,000 for its ongoing Organ Injury Biomarker Initiative. These funds will reimburse the company for prior and future expenditures through fiscal 2011 in this therapeutic area. The Initiative was recognized as a "Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project" under a program created by Congress on May 21, 2010 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the major United States federal health care reform legislation enacted earlier this year.

The federal program established criteria by which small businesses could apply to be certified for either a tax credit or a grant up to specified limits for tax years 2009 and 2010. The grant awarded to Pacific Biomarkers, Inc. is designed to offset up to 50 percent of qualifying research and development costs and provides $244,479.25 to the Company. The total amount of grant money available nationwide was $1 billion. Under the award guidelines, qualified therapeutic discovery projects had to show a reasonable potential to detect or treat chronic or acute diseases and conditions, reduce the long-term growth of health care costs in the United States, result in new therapies to treat areas of unmet medical need, or significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within 30 years. The projects also needed to show a reasonable potential to create or sustain high-quality jobs and to advance United States competitiveness in the fields of life sciences, biological and medical sciences.

The aim of this program at Pacific Biomarkers Inc. (PBI) is to diagnose organ injury occurring because of specific toxic effects of drugs that are in development and prevent their approval. Current costs related to the development of a drug, from discovery to the final approval, are estimated to be about $1 billion. Drug-induced toxicity accounts for 30% of all drug failures prior to reaching the market. This PBI program has the potential to diagnose toxic drug effects that currently are missed in clinical trials.

The key strategic goal for PBI is to provide pharmaceutical and biotech companies with services for testing robust novel biomarkers that have undergone thorough analytical validation and clinical qualification to diagnose early organ injury. This work is taking place in response to FDA-initiated recommendations for streamlining and improving drug development outcomes as outlined in the Critical Path Initiative through guidance from the Predictive Safety Testing Consortium (PSTC) and the Health and Environment Sciences Institute (HESI). 

The Company submitted the application in July 2010 for reimbursement of Initiative expenses from 2009, 2010 and estimated future expenses through fiscal 2011. On November 1, 2010 the Company received the award notice for the $244,479.25 grant.

Commenting on the grant award, Pacific Biomarkers' CEO and Chairman, Ron Helm, stated, "We are pleased to report news of this award, which will contribute significantly toward funding this new program in FY2011." 

A White Paper describing the Company's Acute Kidney Injury Biomarker Plan is available at www.pacbio.com/publications/white-papers-AKI.php.

About Pacific Biomarkers, Inc.
Established in 1989, PBI provides biomarker laboratory services and contract research services to support pharmaceutical and diagnostic manufacturers conducting human clinical trial research. The Company provides expert services in the areas of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, diabetes, obesity, and nutrition. The PBI laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists, New York State, and the Lipid Standardization Program. PBI's clients include many of the world's largest pharmaceutical, biotech, and diagnostic companies. PBI also provides clinical biomarker services focusing on the emerging field of biomarker assay development and testing. Services include validating and performing custom assays for novel clinical biomarkers, immunogenicity testing, cell-based assays, mass spectrometry, and multiplex testing.

PBI is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and its common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "PBMC."

For more information about PBI, visit the company's website at www.pacbio.com. For a further discussion of the company's business, plans and risk factors, see the company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2010, and other periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Pacific Biomarkers, Inc.
    Ron Helm, CEO
    (206) 298-0068

    The Investor Relations Group
    Janet Vasquez
    (212) 825-3210