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New Releases: Dec 8, 2010

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Warnex Medical Laboratories and Epigenomics announced this week that they are launching in Canada Warnex's Septin9 blood testing service for colorectal cancer.

Warnex's Septin9 test for the early detection of colorectal cancer is based on Epigenomics' biomarker Septin9 and its proprietary DNA methylation technologies. Warnex gained non-exclusive rights from Epigenomics for the Septin9 test in May, and will be the first laboratory to offer such testing in Canada.

With the launch of this non-invasive test, Warnex hopes to improve colorectal cancer detection. Since colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada, with 22,000 new diagnoses and 9,100 deaths reported in 2009, the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada recommends those 50 years or older should be screened for cancer with a fecal occult blood test.

"Despite the clear benefits of colorectal cancer screening in reducing mortality from this disease, only 4 percent to 14 percent of eligible Canadians follow the screening recommendations," Warnex and Epigenomics said in a statement. "Innovative convenient screening methods could greatly increase compliance with current guidelines and thereby contribute to reducing mortality from colorectal cancer."

Epigenomics has signed several deals to expand the Septin9 test's availability on a global scale. In December, Epigenomics contracted with Abbott to enable the company to develop and market a similar blood test for the European and Asia/Pacific markets. Abbott sells the RealTime mS9 Colorectal Cancer Assay, which runs on its m2000 platform (PGx Reporter 02/27/08).

Epigenomics also licensed Septin9 to Quest Diagnostics, which in January began offering a laboratory-developed blood test in the US to help physicians detect colorectal cancer. However, this test is not yet approved or cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (PGx Reporter 10/07/09).

Then, in October, Epigenomics signed up the biomedical distributor Dateks to market the colorectal cancer test in Turkey.

Epigenomics markets its Septin9 colorectal cancer early detection test as Epi proColon in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

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