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Epigenomics Taps Pronto Diagnostics as Israeli Distributor for Colorectal Cancer Dx

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Epigenomics said today that Pronto Diagnostics will serve as exclusive distributor of Epigenomics' Epi proColon test in Israel beginning in November.

Pronto, based in Tel Aviv, is the first distributor for Epi proColon outside of Germany, where Epigenomics is headquartered. In April, Epigenomics said that it had tapped Synlab to distribute the test through 55 German sites in its laboratory network (PCR Insider, 4/8/10). Epigenomics also markets the test directly in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

"We are delighted to announce the first distributor agreement for our Epi proColon test," Achim Plum, Epigenomics' senior vice president of commercial development, said in an e-mail. "Pronto Diagnostics will commercialize our colorectal cancer blood test in Israel going forward. With this our innovative test for the first time will be available outside our home market. We expect to be able to report on further distributor agreements for additional regions in the near future."

Epi proColon is a CE-Marked nucleic acid amplification-based test to detect methylated DNA from the Septin 9 gene in patient plasma samples. Research has shown that Septin9 DNA is methylated in a vast majority of colon and rectal tumors, but not in normal cells.

Pronto Diagnostics CEO Nir Navot noted in a statement that Epi proColon can be performed along with other routine blood tests and does not require any preparation of the screened individual. "We expect that a significantly higher number of people will be prepared to undergo screening for colorectal cancer with this new test than with current methods such as stool tests and colonoscopy alone," Navot said.