Caldera founder Jim Watson loses cancer battle

Jim Watson, whose personal battle with prostate cancer led him to co-found Caldera Health, has succumbed to the disease but investors are showing confidence in the company’s gene testing technology by converting options into shares.

Watson, who had been a scientific and management adviser up until the end of 2016, died on Feb. 13, Caldera’s chief executive Rob Mitchell has confirmed. Watson co-founded the company with Richard Foster, who had also been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and died in January 2014.

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Caldera says third study of PSA-test alternative shows high ability to spot Prostate cancer

Caldera Health, a New Zealand biotech company working on a gene-sequencing replacement for the world’s most widely used prostate cancer test, says its third clinical test has shown a strong ability to identify prostate cancer and screen out those who test negative.

The company is working on a replacement for the widely used PSA blood test with a simple “pee in a pot” test, using RNA biomarkers. In 2012, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommended against mass PSA screening because it threw up both false positives and negatives, didn’t distinguish between aggressive cancers and benign strains or even other prostate conditions, and led to over-diagnosis and unnecessary prostatectomies.

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