Pacific Edge cancer test gains cover from US insurance giant United Healthcare

09 Apr 2021 3:25 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

Shares in Pacific Edge spiked sharply higher after the company said its "Cxbladder" cancer diagnostic tests are now covered by United Healthcare, America's biggest healthcare insurer.

The NZX-listed cancer diagnostics company said Cxbladder is now being covered as a "medically necessary bladder tumour marker test", under United Healthcare's Molecular Pathology/Molecular Diagnostics/Genetic Testing (Medicare Advantage) - Medical Policy.

The stock last traded at $1.30, up 31c or 31.3 per cent on Thursday's close.

United Healthcare has over 50 million members with more than 5.7 million Medicare Advantage members.

In 2019, United Health Group had a 14.1 per cent share of the US health insurance market, with direct premiums written amounting to about US$107 billion.

The organisation partners with 6500 hospitals and care facilities nationwide, and more than 1.3 million physicians and other providers.

Including the positive coverage decision issued by the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2020, more than 110 million Americans now have coverage of Cxbladder non-invasive, highly accurate tests for the detection and management of urothelial and bladder cancer, Pacific Edge said.

Chief executive David Darling said gaining coverage with the insurer was a significant achievement for Pacific Edge.

"This positive coverage decision reflects the validation that comes from independent published clinical evidence, inclusion in guidelines and coverage with other providers such as the CMS. It adds further validation of Cxbladder and a point of inflexion for other healthcare insurers."

PEDUSA, Pacific Edge's US business, has been expanding its US sales team to deliver on the growth opportunities available to Cxbladder.

These specialist salespeople will now be working closely with urologists associated with United Healthcare to encourage and support them in their use of our Cxbladder products, the company said.

Pacific Edge was one of the market's strongest performers in 2020 - with its share price climbing by 780 per cent.

By: Jamie Gray Business reporter, NZ Herald