Quest Diagnostics agrees to develop blood-based colon cancer testing service using Australian biotech's gene markers

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Quest Diagnostics agrees to develop blood-based colon cancer testing service using Australian biotech's gene markers
Service to be developed for the United States market

Clinical Genomics, an Australian life sciences company, has announced
today that Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading diagnostic testing company, has exercised a
commercial option under a longstanding strategic-alliance agreement to use Clinical Genomics'
gene-based biomarkers to develop a new generation of laboratory developed tests to help aid colon
cancer detection in the United States. The agreement assumes any new test will meet any required
clinical, regulatory and technical validations. The biomarkers are two genes determined by Clinical
Genomics to be associated with colorectal cancer and detectable through blood testing.
Quest Diagnostics plans to explore incorporating the markers into future generations of its
ColoVantage® laboratory-developed test, assuming validation of improved performance.
ColoVantage is a convenient blood test, based on the gene biomarker Septin9 that aids in the
detection of colorectal cancer in patients non-adherent to current testing approaches. The
company's Nichols Institute developed and validated ColoVantage for testing orders from physicians
in the United States. Additional terms were not disclosed.
"ColoVantage is the putative leading blood-based colorectal cancer detection method, and continues
to generate strong interest from physicians and patients in the United States," said Jay G.
Wohlgemuth, senior vice president, science and innovation, Quest Diagnostics.  "Additional
enhancements will only reinforce the clinical value of this significant medical advance for colon
cancer."
The research1 on which the Clinical Genomics' markers are based is the result of over five years of
scientific collaboration between Clinical Genomics, CSIRO and the Flinders Centre for Innovation in
Cancer at Flinders University in Australia.
Dr. Lawrence LaPointe, the Chief Executive Officer of Clinical Genomics, said Quest Diagnostics'
commercialisation decision underscores the potential of the company's biomarkers for clinically valid
testing.
"When caught early, colon cancer is highly treatable. Yet, colon cancer is a major cause of cancer
death globally, largely because many patients cannot or will not be tested by colonoscopy, fecal
occult blood testing and other guideline-recommended procedures, Quest Diagnostics has a record
of leadership in colon cancer test innovation. Quest's research and development expertise and
national scale position it well to maximize the clinical potential of our gene markers as a testing
service to aid colon cancer detection in the United States," said Dr LaPointe.
Quest Diagnostics offers a broad menu of colorectal cancer tests. In addition to ColoVantage, the
company offers the InSure(R) fecal immunochemical test (FIT), manufactured by the company's
Sydney-based Enterix Inc. business, in Australia and the United States. For more, visit
www.QuestDiagnostics.com. For more information, a copy of the abstract or interviews with researchers, contact Lauren
Sharkey (lauren@palin.com.au; +61 439 404 200) or George Anderson (george@palin.com.au;
+61 404 855 758) at Palin Communications (+ 612 9412 2255) in Chatswood, NSW Australia.
References:
1. Discovery and validation of a novel DNA methylation biomarker for colorectal cancer with application to
blood testing. Pederson, Molloy, Baker, McEvoy, Thomas, Murray, Dunne, Lockett, Mitchell, Ho, Ross, Brown,
Duessing, Saunders, Buckley, Drew, Young and LaPointe. Presented at Digestive Diseases Week, 20
th May 2012.