Accelr8 Technology Corporation (Amex: AXK) reported a loss of $476,537 or $0.05 per share on net revenues of $22,687 for the quarter ended April 30, 2007. In the comparable three-month period of fiscal 2006, Accelr8 reported a net loss of $788,855 or $0.08 per share on net revenues of $19,800.
According to David Howson, Accelr8's president, “The reduced losses reflect our planned transition from a product engineering phase to an intensive testing phase using laboratory prototypes. We are rapidly accumulating large data sets using our unique rapid microbiological assays performed on two prototype BACcelr8r™ platforms. As we complete the major data sets and validate the assays, we will ramp up engineering to develop marketable products.”
The company also reported that its scientists presented data on a rapid test for the MRSA “superbug” at a major scientific meeting in late May. The meeting was the 107th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM, www.asm.org), held in Toronto. This meeting includes commercial exhibits and scientific presentations to the world’s leading Clinical Microbiologists, as well as covering the broad general field of microbiology.
MRSA, an acronym for “methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” includes strains of the common “Staph” bacteria that have become broadly resistant to antibiotics. Common S. aureus most often causes simple skin infections, but can also cause much more serious diseases such as severe “food poisoning” or toxic shock syndrome. Strains that cause hospital-acquired infections (HAI) can lead to a number of life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia. The company estimates that approximately 20% to 30% of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) may be caused by S. aureus, and most of these are MRSA strains. The company estimates that approximately 300,000 cases of HAP occur each year in the U.S. alone.
Recent studies also show that different MRSA strains now dominate community-acquired Staph infections seen in hospital Emergency Rooms.
MRSA has received much attention because it can cause deadly infections that the physician can no longer treat successfully with standard “anti-Staph” penicillins and related drugs. It is also associated with additional mechanisms of resistance to other antibiotics, leaving few therapeutic options. A number of companies have recently announced new products and acquisitions related to MRSA identification. Examples include Becton Dickinson’s (NYSE: BDX) acquisition of GeneOhm, 3M’s (NYSE: MMM) acquisition of Acolyte Biomedica, and Cepheid’s (Nasdaq: CPHD) recent FDA clearance for their Xpert™ MRSA Test.
Differences between Accelr8’s technology and other rapid MRSA tests include Accelr8’s ability to directly detect MRSA in the small number of live bacteria that can be extracted from patient specimens without culturing. Many tests require prior extensive bacterial growth in a culture, which typically delays lab results at least until the next day. For critically ill patients this is too late to help the physician select initial therapy or switch drugs during the short time period in which a change can improve the outcome.
Another important difference is that Accelr8’s methods can identify more than a single type of resistance in the same bacteria. At last year’s ASM meeting, Accelr8 scientists presented data on a rapid test for another important type of resistance in S. aureus. No other tests have been demonstrated that yield same-day results for this type of resistance.
In treating an active infection, the physician needs to know if multiple-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) are responsible, and which drugs might remain effective to treat the infection. The company previously announced its strategy to identify organisms and their major resistance categories within the few hours required to initiate adequate therapy.
Howson continued, “In addition to S. aureus, we are moving quickly with tests for the other important MDROs and identifying their important resistance mechanisms. These other organisms are much more complex than MRSA and much more difficult to identify. They account for approximately two-thirds of serious infections in the ICU, and the most resistant strains respond to only one or two remaining antibiotics.
“Finally, we have started the transition from animal specimens to human specimens in our lab. We are finding that our specimen handling and bacterial extraction methods with human infectious specimens yield results comparable to those from animal non-infectious specimens. The other significant advance has been expanding our experimental capacity with the new BACcel™-1.0 analytical cassettes. These will more than double our data productivity.”
He concluded, “Our Toronto presentation and other recent activities have led to fruitful discussions with a number of potential industry partners. Our data are now starting to show that our unique methods and technology can work as well as we expected. We are therefore evaluating partnership opportunities for entering into an alliance with an industry leader to commercialize the BACcel system.”
The company’s Web site at www.accelr8.com/publications.php has links to publications and presentations related to the company’s technology.
Accelr8 Technology Corporation (www.accelr8.com) is a developer of innovative materials and instrumentation for advanced applications in medical instrumentation, basic research, drug discovery, and bio-detection. Accelr8 is developing rapid clinical pathogen platforms, the BACcel™-1.0 and the BACcelr8r™, based on its innovative surface coatings, assay processing, and detection technologies. In addition, Accelr8 licenses certain of its proprietary technology for use in applications outside of Accelr8’s own products.
Certain statements in this news release may be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements regarding future prospects and developments are based upon current expectations and involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from the forward-looking statement, including those detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accelr8 does not undertake an obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information or future events.