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Chronix Biomedical to Launch Cancer Detection and Monitoring Service at ASCO

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Chronix Biomedical has announced that it will launch a new disease detection and monitoring service for cancer researchers at the upcoming 2010 ASCO Annual Meeting.

The “For Investigational Use Only” laboratory-based testing service uses Chronix’s approach-the Chronix Apoptotic DNA Blood Test-which analyzes apoptotic DNA from dead and dying cells to identify and track ongoing changes associated with specific cancers and other chronic diseases.

Chronix’s proprietary blood test has been shown to accurately detect disease much sooner than other testing methodologies. The Chronix test also reports information that may have utility for selecting the best treatment for each patient. The new service will initially be offered to cancer researchers in the medical oncology and pharmaceutical research communities.

“Our laboratory-based testing service will enable cancer researchers for the first time to monitor the disease status of patients in their clinical trials with a high level of sensitivity and specificity using a simple blood test,” said Howard Urnovitz, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Chronix.

“In addition to our promising breast and prostate cancer data, our scientists are developing assays for other cancers. This new service provides us with a unique opportunity to aid cancer researchers while also expanding the database that will be needed to support the use of our assays in ongoing patient care.”

A growing body of peer-reviewed data shows that the Chronix blood test can detect disease at the earliest stages. Chronix will present data at ASCO from a study of 575 individuals showing that it correctly identified the presence of prostate cancer or breast cancer with 92% sensitivity and 100% specificity, using the unique algorithms it has developed to detect and identify disease-specific DNA fragments in the blood from apoptotic cells. If confirmed in larger studies, these results would significantly outperform current diagnostic tests for these cancers. Chronix will discuss the breast and prostate cancer study results in an oral ASCO session on Monday, June 7 at 3:15 PM CT.

The initial focus of the Chronix Apoptotic Serum DNA Testing Service is to offer researchers an affordable and reliable tool providing early information on the cancer status of patients in their clinical trials. In addition, because the Chronix technology can pinpoint specific DNA-related damage to the patient’s cells, this “personalized medicine” approach may make it possible to analyze each patient’s profile and then to match those profiles to treatment outcomes. These analyzes could provide rapid feedback to researchers on the likely efficacy of treatment options and could potentially serve as surrogate biomarkers of the efficacy of different treatments.

The new Chronix laboratory service is supporting the work of Dr. Jean-Francois Boileau at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Services Centre in Toronto. Dr. Boileau, a surgical oncologist with the Centre’s Breast Care Team, has been an investigator for multiple breast cancer trials and is currently the Principal Investigator of a major foundation-funded study of the utility of sentinel node biopsy following neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Dr. Boileau commented, “It is with great enthusiasm that we will be conducting studies aimed at validating the early results from the Chronix Apoptotic Serum DNA Testing Service, which has shown the ability to distinguish with great accuracy those women who have early breast cancer from those who do not. Also, we will be evaluating whether the Chronix test could be used to predict how different individuals will respond to different breast cancer treatments."

Dr. Boileau continued, "We look forward to helping to verify whether the Chronix assay will prove to be an effective way to identify breast cancer at an early stage and if it could be useful in helping to tailor the individual’s therapy. The fact that this test can be run using a simple blood sample is a major advantage, and if these new studies validate the early findings, the Chronix approach could be a major contribution to the breast cancer field.”

Previously published studies have demonstrated that the Chronix technology can identify the presence or absence of active disease in multiple sclerosis patients and that it can accurately detect early stage breast cancer with high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity.

Commercial applications for veterinary use are in development with the University of Calgary , including a test for the early detection of BSE, or mad cow disease.