SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 20 MonogramBiosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: MGRM) today announced that Wellpoint, Inc. hasestablished a national Medical Policy Guideline for Monogram's Trofile Assay.
Wellpoint's guidelines provide that HIV tropism testing with Trofile isconsidered medically necessary for selecting individuals for treatment withCCR5 antagonists (i.e. Selzentry(TM)) for patients who have experiencedvirologic failure during antiretroviral treatment regimens and who haveevidence of ongoing HIV-1 viral replication. Further, these guidelinesconfirm that Trofile is the only assay approved by Wellpoint for determiningcoreceptor tropism. Wellpoint has developed medical policies and guidelinesthat serve as some of the guidelines for coverage decisions by individualplans.
"Through its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, Wellpoint is one of thelargest private healthcare payers in the U.S. and covers almost 35 millionlives throughout its networks," said William Welch, Monogram's chiefcommercial officer. "Many of the individual Blue Cross and Blue Shield planshave been providing coverage for Trofile and we are pleased to see thisguideline established at the national level."
Wellpoint, Inc. (formerly Anthem, Inc.) is an independent licensee of theBlue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent healthbenefit plans and serves as the Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield licensee in:California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine,Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Manyof these individual Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans establish coveragepolicies for their members and the parent company also establishes nationalcoverage policies that can be referenced by the individual plans.
Monogram is a biotechnology company advancing individualized medicine bydiscovering, developing and marketing innovative products to guide and improvetreatment of serious infectious diseases and cancer. The Company's productsare designed to help doctors optimize treatment regimens for their patientsthat lead to better outcomes and reduced costs. The Company's technology isalso being used by numerous biopharmaceutical companies to develop new andimproved antiviral therapeutics and vaccines as well as targeted cancertherapeutics. More information about the Company and its technology can befound on its web site at http://www.monogrambio.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. Theseforward-looking statements include references to the use of our resistanceassays, including PhenoSense Integrase, and our Trofile Assay, the size andtiming of clinical trials utilizing our products. These forward-lookingstatements are subject to risks and uncertainties and other factors, which maycause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results orother expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risksand uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the risk that physiciansmay not use a molecular diagnostic for patient selection or monitoring forIsentress, Selzentry or other HIV drugs; risks and uncertainties relating tothe performance of our products; the growth in revenues; the size, timing andsuccess or failure of any clinical trials for CCR5 inhibitors, entryinhibitors or integrase inhibitors; whether larger confirmatory clinicalstudies will confirm the results of initial studies; our ability to establishreliable, high-volume operations at commercially reasonable costs; expectedreliance on a few customers for the majority of our revenues; the annualrenewal of certain customer agreements; actual market acceptance of ourproducts and adoption of our technological approach and products bypharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; our estimate of the size of ourmarkets; our estimates