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Epigenomics in Collaborative Effort to Develop Colorectal Cancer Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Epigenomics is collaborating with German researchers on the development of a new blood-based molecular diagnostic test for detecting colorectal cancer, as well as pre-malignant precursors of the disease, the firm said yesterday.

Berlin-based Epigenomics is collaborating with researchers from the 2nd Medical Clinic of the University Hospital Rechts der Isar at the Munich Technical University and from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Bavaria (KVB) on the project. The collaborative effort has received funding of €1.3 million ($1.8 million) from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The project will assess the suitability of Epigenomics' mSEPT9 test for the early detection of polyps. It also will determine whether the mSEPT9 marker can be combined with additional markers for broader application.

"After we have shown in thousands of patients that our mSEPT9 biomarker is able to detect colorectal cancer in a simple blood draw, we now have the chance to broaden the clinical utility of our test to the early detection of pre-malignant lesions," Geert Nygaard, CEO of Epigenomics, said in a statement.

Epigenomics will contribute the mSEPT9 marker and additional markers to the alliance. KVB will manage the network of contributing gastroenterologists to facilitate access to the study population.

Matthias Ebert of the 2nd Medical Clinic of the University Hospital Rechts der Isar at the Munich Technical University will oversee collection of clinical specimens and analyze markers developed by Epigenomics.

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