Sienna Cancer Diagnostics (ASX:SDX) acquires Sevident


by Jessica Amir

Sevident CEO Dr Peter French talks about the company's technology and his new role at Sienna Cancer Diagnostics (ASX:SDX) following its acquisition.

Jessica Amir:
Thanks for tuning into the Finance News Network, I’m Jessica Amir and joining us today from Sevident is CEO Dr Peter French. Hello Peter, nice to chat to you again and welcome back to the network.

Dr Peter French: Thanks Jessica, great to be here.

Jessica Amir: Peter, just start off by telling us a little bit about your background.

Dr Peter French: I guess I’ve got an extensive science and business background. I have a PhD in cell biology and a MBA in technology management, so I’m combining both science and business. And I suppose I have a track record of successful business creation in the biotech space. Capital raising in the US and I’ve been involved in strategic leadership, of both private and public biotech companies, in Australia and in the US.

Jessica Amir: So, Peter, what is the NET technology that Sevident created?

Dr Peter French: Sevident was a company that was based on the technology called NET technology, which is a structured complex matrix invented by its founding scientist, Dr Emily Stein. And the really important thing about that is that it is able to capture specifically and rapidly, a range of biological substances that can be used as exquisite diagnostic markers, for cancer and other diseases. So this NET technology is really the basis of several preparations, for a broad range of liquid biopsy applications.

And Sevident asked me to become their CEO, late in 2017. And really through my involvement with Sienna Cancer Diagnostics (ASX:SDX), I was able to see that the two companies had a lot in common and that they would benefit from each other’s technologies. And so therefore, the partnership has been completed, with Sienna purchasing the NET technology from Sevident.

Jessica Amir: Thanks, Peter. And how will the NET technology be used by Sienna?

Dr Peter French: One of the really exciting opportunities in cancer diagnostics, which of course is Sienna’s primary focus, is in a particle called an exosome, which is secreted from cancer cells. And they contain a range of biomarkers that can be highly specific for cancer. But exosomes are really hard to isolate currently. This is where the Sevident NET technology comes in. It can capture exosomes from blood within 30 minutes, is highly scalable, highly efficient and cost effective. And so Sienna sees the NET technology as being an enabler, for a variety of tests for cancer biomarkers, from exosomes and other sources. And it really sees the NET as a platform, on which to develop a range of new diagnostic assays.

Jessica Amir: And, Peter, what will your role be at Sienna?

Dr Peter French: I’m employed as a strategic technology adviser, which essentially, is involved in finding a variety of new intellectual property that could form the basis, of novel diagnostic assays. And assisting Sienna to expand and develop their portfolio of cancer diagnostics.

Jessica Amir: Just lastly, Peter, before we let you go, what are you hoping to achieve at Sienna?

Dr Peter French: I’m really excited to join Sienna at this moment in its development, as it aims to become a significant player in the cancer diagnostics globally. And to help the company broaden its range of cancer diagnostic products, whilst remaining focused on its core strategy.

Jessica Amir: Dr Peter French, thank you so much for your time.

Dr Peter French: Thank you.


Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.