Sienna Cancer Diagnostics (ASX:SDX) to list on ASX


by Carolyn Herbert

Sienna Cancer Diagnostics (ASX:SDX) CEO, Matthew Hoskin, discusses its diagnostic technology and upcoming IPO.

Carolyn Herbert: Hello. I'm Carolyn Herbert from the Finance News Network, and joining me from soon-to-be-listed biotechnology company Sienna Cancer Diagnostics is CEO Matthew Hoskin. Matthew, welcome to FNN.

Matthew Hoskin: Thanks, Carolyn.

Carolyn Herbert: Now, can you start by giving us an introduction to Sienna Cancer Diagnostics?

Matthew Hoskin: Sure. So, Sienna Cancer Diagnostics is a Melbourne-based biotechnology company focused on developing and commercialising novel diagnostic tests in the application of cancer.

Carolyn Herbert: And now to your lead product, how does it work and what's been the market response?

Matthew Hoskin: Our first product is for the detection of the biomarker telomerase, which has application in assisting urine cytology to assist in the diagnosis of bladder cancer. We've had the product registered with regulatory authorities in some of the main regions of the world. We've now commercialised the product and we've had very good uptake. We've had at least one laboratory that has been using the test for a significant period of time now, and we now have a distribution partner in the United States that is now taking that product to the rest of the market.

Carolyn Herbert: And what about its application to other cancers?

Matthew Hoskin: Telomerase is quite a remarkable biomarker. It was actually the subject of a Nobel Prize in 2009 in physiology and in medicine, and the biomarker is recognised as being present in about 85% of human cancers. Our first focus has been in the application of bladder cancer. However, we will be investigating its use in many other cancer types in the hope that it can also have a role in assisting in those cancer types.

Carolyn Herbert: Very good. So, how much longer do you think it will take for more pathology practices to adopt the test?

Matthew Hoskin: Well, already our distribution partner in the United States, who are a very capable pathology diagnostic distribution company, they are out there, they are selling the test to pathology laboratories in the United States. There are over 2,000 pathology labs in the United States, and our distribution partner there has very good reach to access all of those labs, and they are already starting to evaluate it and adopt the test.

Carolyn Herbert: And, Matthew, what's the near-term potential to add new products?

Matthew Hoskin: To add new products, the regulatory filing that we have for the product is available to apply to other types of samples. The reimbursement that we have in the United States is also applicable to other samples. So, to add additional applications, it's really about our R&D team really defining the protocol for how to treat those samples and how to interpret the results, develop some additional data with our external clinical partners, and then those additional applications will be able to be rolled out into the market for our distribution partners.

Carolyn Herbert: And turning to your IPO now, how much are you looking to raise, and where are the funds going?

Matthew Hoskin: So, we'd like to raise a maximum of $6 million that will really be focused in four main areas. The first is driving short-term revenue growth through the areas where we are already registered, we already have reimbursement, we already have distribution partners to take it to market. The United States is the key region for that focus, so helping our distribution partner there to really drive uptake in the market is key. We will also be looking to expand geographically. Same product, same application, but into all of the other countries. So that's screening and finding distribution partners, bringing them on board, and training them to add more countries. Next, our R&D team will be focused on expanding the applications of the existing technology. And then, lastly, we'll look to bring in additional technologies to help feed the Sienna pipeline for the mid- to long-term growth.

Carolyn Herbert: So, when do you expect to list and where can investors find out more information?

Matthew Hoskin: Well, the offer is now open. It's closing on July 17th. Information can be found either through the Sienna website at, or through Sequoia Corporate Finance, who are our lead manager for the raise, or through your broker.

Carolyn Herbert: And, Matthew, turning to financials now, can you provide us with a snapshot of the company's current position?

Matthew Hoskin: So, unlike a lot of other biotechs in the space, Sienna is in the unique position of already having generated revenues. So, we're already receiving roughly half a million dollars from customer revenues, and are now looking to really expand on that and take our growth to the next level.

Carolyn Herbert: And finally, Matthew, what's your focus for the next 12 months and your long-term ambition for Sienna?

Matthew Hoskin: So, in the short term, we really want to focus on capitalising in those markets where we have product registered, we have reimbursement, we have channels to market. So, driving the sales and marketing efforts, and really maximising our revenue in the short term. We want to get through to being a profitable company and generating positive cash flow as soon as possible, and then use those profits to continue to drive growth for the company, add those expanded applications for the existing product, as well as add new technologies and really create value for our shareholders.

Carolyn Herbert: Matthew Hoskin, thanks for the introduction and good luck with the IPO.

Matthew Hoskin: Thank you, Carolyn.


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