Caldera Health’s mission is to develop highly accurate prostate cancer diagnostic and prognostic tests. The tests analyse gene expression levels of selected RNA biomarkers that form gene signatures that enable diagnosis of prostate cancer and prognosis of disease progression. Our current focus is for the Caldera diagnostic test to replace the PSA test and become the new best practice in first line prostate cancer diagnostics.
Dr Jim Watson,
Dr Jim Watson co-founded Caldera Health Limited with Richard. In 1994 he founded Genesis Research and Development Corporation Limited serving as Director of Science until 1996 and Chief Executive until 2004. That year he founded BioJoule Limited, a renewable energy company, and was its Managing Director until its sale in 2007. Previously, he was a professor and Head of the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Auckland Medical School (1984-93) and professor at the University of California, Irvine (1975 – 82).
Dr Richard Forster,
Dr Richard Forster co-founded Caldera Health with Jim. Dr Forster was a highly creative scientist with extensive knowledge and expertise in molecular biology and genetics. He had senior management roles at Genesis Research Ltd and Lanzatech NZ Ltd.
Dr Watson and Dr Forster were diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, both victims to the flaws of the PSA test. Considering their backgrounds, they felt they were in a unique position to answer unmet clinical needs in prostate cancer diagnosis and founded Caldera Health Ltd.
Dr Watson and Dr Forster led the initial technology development that led to Caldera Health’s diagnostic gene signature. Dr Forster sadly passed away in January 2014.
Up until the end of December 2016 Dr Watson still functioned as an advisor to the scientific and management team at Caldera Health, however sadly he passed away on February 13th, 2017.
1 in 7 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime…
About 1 in 7 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. It is the second most prevalent cancer and is responsible for the fifth highest number of cancer related deaths among men worldwide. Prostate cancer is generally a slow growing cancer. If diagnosed early, the mortality rate amongst sufferers greatly reduces. However, there is currently no suitable diagnostic screening test to accurately and conveniently diagnose prostate cancer and neither is there an authoritative prognostic test that will distinguish indolent from aggressive disease.
The current first line diagnostic standard, the PSA test, analyses the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. This test lacks accuracy and because of that is controversial for screening. An increase in the level of PSA in blood is not limited to prostate cancer, thus resulting in large numbers of false positive cases, requiring further unnecessary invasive procedures. This approach is at the expense of patient well-being and cost to the bill payer. Moreover, not all prostate cancer sufferers will exhibit increased levels of PSA. This equates to missed diagnoses, which can have life threatening consequences.
Caldera Health is developing a non-invasive solution to accurately and reliably diagnose prostate cancer, thereby reducing the number of unnecessary invasive biopsies and missed diagnoses. We are developing a non-invasive urine clinical laboratory test that will measure the expression of a range of patented RNA biomarkers to precisely diagnose prostate cancer. These tests have the potential to not only identify cancer, but also after further development, to define the progression of disease.
We plan to use the same technology platform to progress personalised medicine by determining which therapeutic approach is best for an individual patient’s cancer. By better targeting therapies to the individual cancer, both ineffective treatment and the associated time delays and costs can be greatly reduced. Caldera Health intends to change the way prostate cancer is diagnosed, the way its progression is monitored and the way its treatment is administered.
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