In many cases, diagnostic procedures can do more harm than good. Obviously this is the exact opposite of their intention; the ideal diagnostic procedure is quick, painless, and eliminates the need for more invasive and risky procedures. CT scans are commonly accepted because it is one of the few tools available to Doctors when diagnosing the cause of abdominal pain. In a field where the most basic tenet is "Do no harm," I'm sure that I'm not the first to think that there has to be a better way. AspenBio Pharma has a blood-based test undergoing clinical study designed to help physicians manage the large number of patients who enter emergency rooms for abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is the most common reason given for ER visits, and acute appendicitis is the number one reason for emergency abdominal surgery.
It is widely accepted that radiation from a CT scan should be avoided if possible. Children have been deemed especially at risk to develop cancer from CT scans, and according to the New England Journal of Medicine, as many as 0.4% of current cancers in the United States are due to CT scans performed in the past, with this rate possibly increasing as high as 1.5-2%, based on 2007 rates of CT scan usage. AspenBio Pharma's (Nasdaq: APPY) AppyScore™ provides medical professionals with a tool that doesn't involve harming the patient, may be superior to CT scans in providing a negative predictive value, and it is far less expensive. In data analysis from the Company's 503 patient study, AppyScore exhibited a negative predictive value of 97%, sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 43%, when 29% of those in the study population were determined to have acute appendicitis. Considering the high volume of patients entering the emergency room for abdominal pain, it has been estimated that there is a global market of up to $1 billion for AppyScore.
APPY stock is trading at close to 52 week lows at around $0.64, and the product offers the same potential as a year ago. The stock dropped from its highs, which were over six times higher than current levels, following trial results that missed expectations due to significant variability in the methodology used to collect samples for AppyScore. The 503 patient study lends credence to the test's accuracy, which means the current stock price could be an enticing entry point. The stock price appears to have hit bottom late February, and may be ready to bounce. Can the stock climb back to where it was a year ago, following positive results which the Company had previously reported?
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in APPY over the next 72 hours.