FREMONT, Calif., April 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vermillion, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRML), a molecular diagnostics company, today announced that the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) has issued the Company Patent No. 7,341,838 for the discovery of novel forms of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), which could potentially improve upon the current standard of care in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease. The discovery could ultimately lead to the development of an improved, next-generation assay that might provide physicians with additional, valuable information to stratify patients at risk for cardiovascular disease, including stroke and congestive heart failure.
"The issuance of this patent validates the strength of our approach in the development of innovative molecular diagnostics," said Eric T. Fung, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Vermillion. "We hypothesize that measuring these novel forms of BNP will have prognostic value. We look forward to continuing to build our solid pipeline of potential biomarkers to aid in the diagnosis of serious, debilitating conditions."
BNP is secreted by the heart and indicates how well the muscle is working. Normally, only a low amount of BNP is found in the blood. However, if the heart has to work harder than usual over an extended period of time the heart releases more BNP. Elevated levels of BNP can signify congestive heart failure.
The patent also covers the measurement of these new modifications of BNP by a variety of methods, including SELDI (surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization) mass spectrometry -- which was used to discover these specific forms -- and other immunoassay approaches.
Vermillion, Inc. is dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel high-value diagnostic tests that help physicians diagnose, treat and improve outcomes for patients. Vermillion, along with its prestigious scientific collaborators, has diagnostic programs in oncology, hematology, cardiology and women's health. Vermillion is based in Fremont, California. Additional information about Vermillion can be found on the Web at http://www.vermillion.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding Vermillion's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions. These forward-looking statements are based on Vermillion's current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Vermillion notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. There are no guarantees that Vermillion will succeed in its efforts to commercialize products, based on Patent No.7,341,838, that will improve diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in 2008 or during any other period of time. Factors that could cause actual results to materially differ include but are not limited to: (1) uncertainty in obtaining intellectual property protection for inventions made by Vermillion; (2) unproven ability of Vermillion to discover, develop, and commercialize diagnostic products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease based on findings from its disease association studies; (3) unproven ability of Vermillion to discover or identify new protein biomarkers and use such information to develop diagnostic products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease; (4) uncertainty as to whether Vermillion will be able to obtain any required regulatory approval of its diagnostic products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease; (5) uncertainty of market acceptance of its diagnostic products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, including the risk that its products will not be competitive with products offered by other companies, or that users will not be entitled to receive adequate reimbursement for its products from third party payors such as private insurance companies and government insurance plans; and (6) other factors that might be described from time to time in Vermillion's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Vermillion expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in Vermillion's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, unless required by law.
SOURCE Vermillion, Inc.