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MDx/CDx Focus: BRL Launches IHPV mRNA Test; BrevaGen Adoption Continues in Texas

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BRL launches InCellDx's HPV mRNA Test

Bio-Reference Laboratories announced this week that its GenPath Women's Health division has launched a new test called GenCerv.

The test is based on InCellDx's patented and proprietary HPV mRNA quantification technology. GenCerv will quantify E6 and E7 oncogene overexpression in distinct cell types, which, according to BRL, will help doctors diagnose HPV and identify patients whose disease will not progress to cervical cancer.

"HPV is a surrogate for the disease process that results in cervical cancer. By allowing for the quantification of E6 and E7 oncogene overexpression, our assay based on InCellDx technology seeks to track the neoplastic process; therefore, it is not about the infection, it's about the disease." Marc Grodman, CEO of BRL, said in a statement. "We anticipate that this technology … should not only improve the specificity that accompanies HPV testing, but also should be cost effective in identifying those HPV cases that do not progress to cervical cancer."

Specifically, the company is hoping that the HPV test can help reduce unnecessary colposcopies and cervical biopsies in those with a low risk of getting cervical cancer following an HPV infection.

Additionally, BRLI said it has purchased $6 million worth of preferred stock and warrants in Menlo Park, Calif.-based InCellDx, representing between 20 percent and 25 percent of the company.


BrevaGen Adoption Expands to North Texas

Personalized Women's Healthcare, a facility located in North Texas, will begin offering testing on BrevaGen, a molecular diagnostic that gauges women's risk of developing non-familial or sporadic breast cancer.

Specifically, ObGyn Eric Jacoby at Personalized Women's Healthcare in Plano, Texas, will make the BrevaGen test available to his patients.

"Determining the appropriate level of surveillance is critical for patient compliance, early cancer detection, and controlling healthcare costs," Jacoby said in a statement. "BrevaGen helps me identify those patients that benefit from a more intensive surveillance. This proactive approach might include breast MRI and/or the use of anti-estrogen medications, coupled with patient lifestyle changes, all focused on the prevention or early detection of breast cancer."

Last month, the Breast Center of Austin similarly announced that patients being treated at its facility will have access to the test (PGx Reporter 4/11/2012).

BrevaGen – originally developed by Perlegen Sciences and later acquired by Genetic Technologies subsidiary Phenogen Sciences when Perlegen ceased operations in 2010 – analyzes patients' saliva for seven SNPs. The test then factors in patients' clinical information with their genetic risk score to determine their five-year and lifetime risk of getting hormone-dependent breast cancer. This risk prediction from BrevaGen is independent of family history or previous intermediate test results.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.