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Ampersand Medical Corp.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Coming in late to the highly competitive and crowded market for cervical cancer screening, Ampersand Medical is doing something completely different. To remove the subjectivity from interpretation of test restuls, it is developing InPath, a comprehensive screening system that uses a cocktail of protein-based biomolecular markers to identify cellular abnormalities associated with cancers at different stages.

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If Ampersand Medical Corp. started with an unusual financing strategy, its current efforts to get listed on a major stock exchange are also a bit innovative and circuitous. The fact that it has managed to survive and progress in a tough era for diagnostics, even though it is a late entrant into the crowded field of cervical cancer screening, is a testament to the value of this approach. Its founder, Peter Gombrich, has started several device and diagnostic companies which have acquired each other or licensed from one another, including AccuMed International and InPath. Now, Ampersand wants to buy AccuMed to gain access to short-term revenues, patents, and technologies related to early-stage cancer detection.

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New hunters of diagnostic biomarkers hope to improve cancer diagnosis. They envision biomarkers that will allow more accurate disease-stage monitoring, more effective choice of therapy and, ultimately, the development of therapies themselves. Despite the plethora of new technologies, tools, and genomic data, however, cancer-specific markers have provent obe difficult beasts to catch.

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