SOURCE: SpectraScience, Inc.

April 21, 2011 09:00 ET

SpectraScience Commences Phase 1 Clinical Trials for Barrett's Esophagus

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 21, 2011) - SpectraScience, Inc. (OTCQB: SCIE), a San Diego based medical device company, today announced that, in coordination with a leading Dutch research-focused university, Academisch Medisch Centrum (AMC), it has commenced Phase 1 clinical trials under the direction of Dr. Jacques Bergman, for the development of an algorithm for diagnosis of Barrett's Esophagus on its WavSTAT platform technology. Dr. Bergman is a renowned expert on the early diagnosis of cancer and dysplasia of the esophagus using endoscopic imaging techniques.

Michael Oliver, CEO of SpectraScience, said that "Early diagnosis of Barrett's Esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer, is extremely critical given its low survival rate. In the United States, the overall 5-year survival for esophageal cancer is about 13%. Worldwide, esophageal cancer is the seventh leading cause of cancer death. We have identified a new approach for diagnosis using our WavSTAT platform that we believe could be an important breakthrough for early and more accurate diagnosis of Barrett's Esophagus and esophageal cancer."

SpectraScience expects to develop a Barrett's Esophagus application for commercialization later this year.

At present, a procedure called esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD or upper endoscopy) with biopsy is the only way to know for sure whether you have Barrett's esophagus. While it is a routine procedure, there are risks, which include accidently making a hole or tear in the esophagus, stomach or small bowel that would require surgery to repair it. Other less severe complications include significant bleeding, pneumonia from getting stomach fluid or saliva into the lungs or a negative reaction to the sedation medications.

"The promise of diagnosis through WavSTAT's non-invasive optical biopsy platform is that we can significantly reduce, and even eliminate these complications, while increasing the sensitivity and accuracy of the diagnosis process," added Oliver.

What is Barrett's Esophagus?

Barrett's esophagus is a precancerous condition that develops in approximately 10% of patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In Barrett's esophagus, the normal cells that line the esophagus, called squamous cells, turn into a type of cell called specialized columnar cells or Barrett's esophagus.

Once the cells in the lining of the esophagus have turned into Barrett's cells, they will not revert back to normal. In about 5% of patients, Barrett's cells may develop abnormal changes called dysplasia. Over several years, the dysplasia may progress to adenocarcinoma (cancer) of esophagus. Patients with Barrett's esophagus are 30-40 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than the normal population.

About SpectraScience, Inc.

SpectraScience is a San Diego based medical device company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets spectrophotometry systems capable of determining whether tissue is normal, pre-cancerous or cancerous without physically removing tissue from the body. The WavSTAT Optical Biopsy System uses light to optically scan tissue and provide the physician with an immediate analysis. With FDA approval for sale in the U.S. and the CE Mark for the European Union, the WavSTAT System is the first commercially available product that incorporates this innovative technology for clinical use. The Company's LUMA imaging technology has received FDA approval for an optical non-invasive system that is proven to more effectively detect cervical cancer precursors than conventional methods available in the market today.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    SpectraScience, Inc.
    Jim Dorst
    Chief Financial Officer
    (858) 847-0200 x2019

    Hayden Communications
    Investor Relations
    Todd Pitcher