Epigenomics’ share price shot up 19% on the announcement that Swiss Viollier will be offering a blood test for colorectal cancer based on Epigenomics’ mSEPT9 biomarker. The test, reportedly representing the first ever blood test for colorectal cancer in Europe, will be launched on July.
Epigenomics expects other clinical laboratories in Europe to introduce mSEPT9 testing in due course. The company is also nonexclusively licensing the mSEPT9 biomarker for the development of IVD blood tests. The first IVD test kit for mSEPT9 is expected launch in Europe by the end of this year. In the U.S., Quest Diagnostics is currently developing a laboratory-based mSEPT9 test and will probably be the first company to offer a lab-based colorectal cancer blood test.
Colorectal cancer is the most frequent gastrointestinal tumor and second in terms of cancer mortality every year in the U.S. and Europe, Epigenomics claims. Colorectal cancer screening programs, however, involving colonoscopy and/or fecal occult blood testing have failed to significantly improve the early detection of colorectal cancer largely because of a lack of patient compliance. In contrast, a blood test is expected to be much more readily acceptable and less time consuming.
Collaboration Formed to Evaluate Epigenomics’ Test in Detecting Colorectal Polyps (May 26, 2009)