TORONTO, July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - GeneNews Limited (TSX: GEN), a company focused on developing blood-based biomarker tests for the early detection of diseases and personalized health management, today announced the launch of ColonSentry(TM), the world's first blood-based molecular test for colorectal cancer screening. ColonSentry(TM) is a blood test that assesses a patient's current risk of having colorectal cancer, identifying those in the asymptomatic general population with increased risk who might benefit from further more invasive diagnostic testing such as colonoscopy. This risk stratification approach allows for a more targeted application of colonoscopy which could increase the detection rate of colorectal cancer by as much as 3 fold in an asymptomatic general population. The test requires a simple blood sample. The mRNA expression of a panel of seven specific genes is measured at the molecular level by quantitative RT-PCR which results in an assessment of the patient's current risk. ColonSentry will be performed at the Company's laboratory facilities in Richmond Hill, Canada and is the first in a series of blood-based molecular tests based on the company's platform technology, the award-winning Sentinel Principle(TM).
"Each year thousands of Canadians die from colorectal cancer, the number two cause of death among all cancers in both men and women. This is a tragedy because colorectal cancer is a preventable and curable disease, but only when detected early," said Dr. Lawrence Cohen, Director of Gastroenterology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. "The launch of ColonSentry(TM) represents a leap forward in the way we currently screen for colorectal cancer. The test determines whether patients have an increased risk of having colorectal cancer. By using this risk assessment tool as the first step in a regular screening program, information obtained with ColonSentry(TM) will result in better decision making by doctors and their patients regarding next steps in the colorectal cancer screening process and ultimately help identify the presence of this cancer in patients at a curable stage."
"More than 21,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and most of them will not have exhibited any symptoms. The most effective method for prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer is through widespread screening of individuals," said Barry D. Stein, President of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. "A patient-friendly blood test like ColonSentry(TM) is welcomed and can certainly contribute to increased compliance with screening programs. This will facilitate earlier detection and treatment of the disease, resulting in improved outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer."
"Ideally, colorectal cancer screening should proceed in a programmatic fashion that begins with risk stratification based on the results from an initial test and then continues with proper follow up based on findings," said Dr. Bernard Levin, an internationally recognized expert in colorectal cancer screening and Chair of the Company's Colorectal Cancer Clinical Advisory Board. "As the initial test, the convenience of a blood test to assess current risk could encourage more individuals to undergo screening, leading to earlier detection of colorectal cancer thereby reducing suffering and death."
"More than 1.5 million people in the GTA meet the eligibility guidelines for colorectal cancer screening, making this an ideal location for the initial launch of ColonSentry(TM). We are building our commercial organization and look forward to subsequent planned launches of ColonSentry(TM) in Asia, the United States and Europe," said Dr. Heiner Dreismann, interim CEO and Lead Director of GeneNews. "Achieving this most significant milestone well on target reflects the deep commitment of the entire GeneNews staff and the tim