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Genomic Health Launches New Oncotype Development Program, Direct-to-Consumer Campaign

This article has been updated from a previous version to clarify the number of systems shipped in 2007 and projected full-year revenues and to add a statement from a company spokesperson. 
 
SAN FRANCISCO (GenomeWeb News) – Genomic Health is launching a new development program for its Oncotype DX diagnostic platform in ductile carcinoma in situ and is working on an educational campaign intended to urge more breast cancer patients to ask their physician for the test.
 
CEO Randy Scott told investors today at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference held here that Genomic Health is targeting several cancers as it develops additional applications for the Oncotype assay. Oncotype DX currently is used to predict the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence and whether a node-negative, estrogen-receptor positive tumor will respond to chemotherapy.
 
Scott said that the firm is also focusing on driving awareness of the test among physicians, payors, and patients. As part of reaching this last group, Genomic Health also is launching a campaign in conjunction with advocacy groups that it hopes will encourage breast cancer patients to discuss Oncotype DX with their physicians.
 
A company spokesperson told GenomeWeb Daily News following the presentation that Genomic Health considers the campaign to be "direct-to-patient" rather than "direct-to-consumer" because it is targeting patients who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
Scott said the firm has launched a new development program for the Oncotype assay for ductile carcinoma in situ, which has a potential market of roughly 60,000 patients. It is one of several cancer applications Genomic Health is targeting for the test, with development programs either underway or scheduled to begin for colon and prostate cancer. He also noted that the firm is looking at tests in conjunction with aromatase inhibitors.
 
Earlier this week, Genomic Health announced a collaboration with drug giant Pfizer to develop a prognostic test for patients with stage I-III renal carcinoma, clear cell type, if the disease has not spread to other parts of the body.
 
“We’re at the tip of the iceberg” in penetrating the breast cancer market with Oncotype DX, “and we’re learning more every day about the addressable market,” Scott told investors. Genomic Health delivered 17,200 Oncotype DX tests through the first three quarters of 2007, expects to report total product revenue of roughly $62 million for fiscal 2007.
 
Part of the "direct-to-patient" campaign includes a website dedicated to information about the test, but additional consumer awareness initiatives include educational videos on YouTube, networking on Facebook, and search engine optimization on Yahoo! and Google.
 
Genomic Health officials said during the firm’s breakout session at the conference that they wanted to establish a significant amount of payor adoption before rolling out the program. The company estimates Oncotype DX currently receives reimbursement from 50 percent of payors in the US.
 
Scott said the firm has encouraged payors to analyze their own data regarding the benefits of the test and hopes that some may publish papers detailing their findings. 

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