TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - GeneNews Limited (TSX: GEN), a company focused
on developing simple blood-based biomarker tests for the early detection of
diseases and personalized health management, today announced the publication
of a paper entitled "Novel Blood-Based, Five-Gene Biomarker Set for the
Detection of Colorectal Cancer", which appears in the January 15, 2008 issue
of Clinical Cancer Research. The paper reports that blinded clinical data from
92 patient samples has validated training set data initially presented at the
2006 ASCO Annual Meeting, further demonstrating that a five-gene biomarker
panel effectively stratifies patients into defined risk groups for colon
cancer (low, intermediate, high), providing actionable clinical data for use
by patients and physicians to facilitate decisions around further colorectal
(CRC) screening options.
"This publication is further validation of our proprietary approach to
detecting colon cancer by monitoring the gene expression patterns of unique
biomarker sets in blood," said C.C. Liew, PhD, Chief Scientist of GeneNews.
"Since this study, we have advanced our technology and worked with an expanded
patient population to identify additional markers specific to colon cancer and
to refine our algorithms for choosing optimal marker combinations. These
results give us confidence that the enhanced panel we are completing for
validation trials and commercialization will yield clinically-robust results."
In addition, GeneNews has completed collection of a further 10,000
patient blood samples through a network of clinical collaborations spanning
more than 20 leading centers in the US and Canada. More than 500 samples from
patients with colorectal cancer and an additional 500 samples from patients
with pre-cancerous polyps are included in the 10,000 patient blood samples
which are currently being used by GeneNews to optimize and refine its
ColonSentry(TM) biomarker panel. The Company also recently announced that it
has initiated accrual of a new cohort of patient samples for clinical
validation studies of ColonSentry to be performed in 2008. GeneNews
anticipates initially offering ColonSentry as a reference laboratory-based
test while it pursues regulatory approval for an In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD)
"There is a critical need for a patient-friendly front-line test to
assess an individual's risk for colorectal cancer before proceeding to the
more invasive screening and diagnostic tools currently available. As a
blood-based test, ColonSentry is well-positioned to meet this critical need
and encourage patient compliance with colorectal cancer screening programs,"
said Dr. K. Wayne Marshall, MD, PhD, President and CEO of GeneNews.
About Colorectal Cancer and Screening
In the US, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths
for men and the third leading cause of cancer deaths for women. Colorectal
cancer has a very poor prognosis if it is diagnosed after the cancer has
spread outside the colon; however, if it is detected early it is usually
curable. Additionally, detecting and removing pre-cancerous polyps may help
prevent cancer from developing. Current screening tests are generally
invasive, expensive, inconvenient or not readily available. As a result, the
vast majority of patients in the developed world are not adequately screened.
It is estimated that there are approximately 80 million people in the US over
the age of 50 who require regular screening and that only approximately 35% of
this group comply with current screening guidelines. Outside the US, screening
compliance rates are much lower.
GeneNews is focused on the application of functional genomics to enable
early diagnosis and personalized therapeutic intervention based on
disease-specific biomarkers. The Company has developed a novel approach, the
Sentinel Principle(TM), to assess a patient's health status for virtually any
disease or medical condition from a simple blood sample. GeneNews is currently
applying the Sentinel Principle in major areas with unmet clinical needs such
as cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.
GeneNews' first product, ColonSentry, is a convenient and patient-friendly
blood-based biomarker test to assess an individual's risk for colorectal
cancer. For more information on GeneNews, visit www.genenews.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect the
Company's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ
materially from those projected herein. Investors should consult the Company's
ongoing quarterly filings and annual reports for additional information on
risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements. The
reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. The
Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
For further information:
For further information: James Smith, (416) 815-0700 x 229,