Updated with stock information.
TUSTIN, Calif. (TheStreet) -- The Mayo Clinic is denying statements made by Radient Pharmaceuticals (RPC) about the prestigious research hospital's involvement in a clinical study of Radient's cancer-screening test Onko-Sure.
"Mayo is not engaged in clinical studies with Radient and does not have a partnership agreement with Radient," Mayo Clinic spokesperson Kathy Anderson said in a statement emailed to TheStreet Friday.
Mayo Clinic's statement contradicts Radient's recent pronouncements regarding the pending release of results from a new clinical validation study of Onko-Sure, a blood-based cancer screening test. Questions about the exact nature of the relationship between Radient and Mayo come a week after similar doubts were raised about an Onko-Sure venture in India touted by Radient.Radient shares fell 26% to 41 cents in Monday morning trading before the stock was halted around midday. The stock remains halted with no indication yet for when trading will resume. In a press release issued Jan. 18, Radient said it was making "progress on its clinical study with Mayo Clinic for the validation of the company's US FDA-cleared Onko-Sure" test. Results from this study are expected before the end of the first quarter. The same Radient press release described the Onko-Sure clinical study as one in which "1,000 colorectal patient samples with various disease stages are being tested in parallel by RPC [Radient] and Mayo..." Onko-Sure is a blood-based test cleared for use in the U.S. to measure the progression of colon cancer in patients already diagnosed with the disease. Despite FDA approval, Radient has failed to generate significant revenue from Onko-Sure, placing the company's financial health in severe jeopardy. Radient is hoping that results from this new study will generate interest and sales of Onko-Sure to oncologists. Radient's moribund stock price is in desperate need of a revamp too, so invoking the imprimatur of Mayo Clinic has been a prominent part of the company's public relations strategy. But in linking Mayo Clinic to Onko-Sure, Radient appears to be exaggerating the research hospital's involvement and interest. In order to conduct the Onko-Sure study, Radient needed blood samples taken from patients with colon cancer, so the company turned to a subsidiary of Mayo that collects and stores tissue and blood samples for use in scientific research. The Mayo Clinic subsidiary sold the blood samples to Radient. "Mayo Clinic does have a collaboration agreement with Radient whereby Mayo Validation Support Services provided bio specimens from our Bio Specimen Bank to Radient for clinical studies," said Mayo spokesperson Anderson.
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