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VolitionRx Launches Clinical Trial in Germany for Pancreatic Cancer Blood Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – VolitionRx has announced a new study in partnership with the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, or DKFZ), to evaluate its NuQ blood test for detecting pancreatic cancer.

Volition's NuQ tests are based on biomarker panels that can identify chromosome fragments, also called nucleosomes, circulating in the blood and analyze them for epigenetic modifications indicative of certain cancers.

"VolitionRx has demonstrated some very encouraging early results," DKFZ Professor Hermann Brenner said in a statement. This larger trial with DKFZ will provide a more extensive opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of [VolitonRx's] Nucleosomics technology for pancreatic cancer diagnosis, a high-unmet medical need worldwide."

The trial seeks to solidify encouraging preliminary data on the ability of the test to detect pancreatic cancer. A 59-patient study at Sweden's Lund University established that a panel with NuQ biomarkers, along with an established cancer biomarker, could detect pancreatic cancer at a rate of 93 percent at 100 percent specificity, the firm said. Another study from the University of Copenhagen indicated that a similar panel detected 95 percent of pancreatic cancers at 84 percent specificity.

The firm said there is only one existing blood-based biomarker for pancreatic cancer, CA 19-9, but it is not accurate.

In the last couple of years, the firm has launched a number of clinical studies to study NuQ tests for other cancers, including lung cancer and ovarian cancer.

Last month, the firm obtained CE marking for two of its NuQ assays to detect colorectal cancer.

Meanwhile, DKFZ signed a collaboration in 2013 with Applied Proteomics to develop pancreatic cancer diagnostic tests.