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IHT Begins Selling Opko's Protein Biomarker Prostate Cancer Dx

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Opko Health said this week that its partner International Heath Technology has begun selling its Opko 4kscore prostate cancer test in Europe as part of IHT's ProstateCheck program.

The 4kscore diagnostic uses two protein biomarkers in the kallikrein family along with prostate-specific antigen for early detection of prostate cancer. Opko licensed the two markers from Finnish biotech firm Artic Partners in January (PM 1/30/2012).

The biomarkers were identified by researchers at Sweden's University of Malmo, Finland's University of Turku, and New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who showed that the markers, in combination with prostate specific antigen, could predict initial biopsy results in men suspected of having prostate cancer.

The researchers tested the markers in more than 8,000 men, and the markers were independently validated in the European Randomized Study of Prostate Cancer Screening.

According to Opko, use of the panel could potentially eliminate more than 50 percent of unnecessary prostate biopsies by improving on the specificity of existing PSA tests.

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