Company’s esophageal cancer prevention tests developed jointly by medical school faculty at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals
Lucid Diagnostics Inc., a company that produces esophageal cancer tests based on Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals research, has completed a $70 million initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq Global Market; at the IPO price, the company’s estimated value would be $467 million.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects about 20% of people in the United States; roughly half of those with chronic GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus, which can lead to highly lethal esophageal cancer, the sixth-most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide.
Lucid Diagnostics Inc. (Nasdaq: LUCD), a subsidiary of New York-based PAVmed Inc. (Nasdaq: PAVM), licensed the EsoCheck and EsoGuard technology through Case Western Reserve’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) in 2018. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration awarded both products Breakthrough Device designation, granted to novel medical devices with the potential to provide more effective treatment and diagnosis of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases and conditions. EsoCheck received a 2020 Edison Award as one of the year’s most significant innovations in the Medical Testing category.
EsoGuard is a next-generation sequencing (NGS) DNA assay performed on surface esophageal cells collected with EsoCheck. It has been shown to be highly accurate at detecting esophageal precancer and cancer. EsoGuard is commercially available in the United States and has received European CE mark certification. EsoCheck is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared and European CE Mark-certified noninvasive swallowable balloon capsule catheter device capable of performing targeted and protected sampling of surface esophageal cells in a less-than-five-minute office procedure.
The underlying technology for EsoCheck and EsoGuard was co-invented by Sanford Markowitz, the Ingalls Professor of Cancer Genetics and Medicine at the School of Medicine and an oncologist at University Hospitals (UH) Seidman Cancer Center; Amitabh Chak, a professor of medicine at the School of Medicine, gastroenterologist at the University Hospitals Digestive Health Institute and the Brenda and Marshall B. Brown Master Clinician in Innovation and Discovery at UH Seidman Cancer Center; and Joseph Willis, a professor of pathology at the School of Medicine and pathology vice-chair for translational research at UH.
Markowitz, Chak and Willis were at Nasdaq in New York on Friday to ring the ceremonial bell, marking the close of the day’s stock trading.