Provista to go public with breast, lung cancer testing technology

Phoenix Business Journal, Friday, December 30, 2011

by Linda Obele, Contributing Writer

The Great Recession seems to have been more of a nuisance than a hindrance to Provista Life Sciences .

“The recession only affected us from the standpoint that it became more work to raise capital,” said Gartner, whose 8-year-old company brought a breast cancer blood test to market in 2009 and is working on similar diagnostics for lung cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. “In the phase we were in, it’s not like the economy reduced our revenue — we didn’t have a product to sell yet.”

Recently, Gartner sold Phoenix-based Provista Life Sciences LLC’s breast and lung cancer testing technologies to a new company called Provista Diagnostics Inc., which he intends to take public by the middle of next year.

The lung cancer blood test still is in clinical trials, but Gartner hopes the new company will help the breast cancer blood test penetrate the commercial market.

Meanwhile, Provista Life Sciences will continue developing neurological-disorder diagnostic tools, such as the blood test to help doctors detect Alzheimer’s disease, which is not yet on the market.

Gartner said he wasn’t bothered much by the lack of venture capital funding that occurred during the recession, preferring instead to work with equity capital firms, angel investors and family institutional investors.

“The money was there, but people were scared and they took longer to make a decision,” he said.

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