SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Veracyte, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company pioneering the emerging field of molecular cytology, today announced the appointment of Richard T. Kloos, M.D., as senior medical director. In this role, Dr. Kloos will educate the endocrinology community about the company's first product, the Afirma® Thyroid FNA Analysis, and will lead all thyroid product medical efforts.
Dr. Kloos was previously professor in the divisions of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Nuclear Medicine at The Ohio State University (OSU) and was attending physician at The OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was co-director of The OSU Thyroid Cancer Unit and previously served as secretary and chief operating officer for the American Thyroid Association (ATA). He served on recent ATA and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) task forces that published guidelines for thyroid nodules, differentiated thyroid cancer and medullary thyroid cancer.
"We are delighted to welcome Rick Kloos to the Veracyte team," said Bonnie Anderson, cofounder and chief executive officer of Veracyte. "He brings significant experience in the diagnosis and management of patients with thyroid nodules and is highly respected among his peers. Dr. Kloos will be instrumental in our efforts to educate clinicians about the role that the Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis plays in improving thyroid nodule diagnosis. Dr. Kloos, with his thyroid cancer expertise, will be a terrific addition to the medical team under the direction of Richard B. Lanman, M.D., the company's chief medical officer."
"The Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis offers a significant opportunity to help tens of thousands of patients in the United States avoid unnecessary thyroid surgery each year," said Dr. Kloos. "I believe its core component, the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier, is simply the most significant advancement for thyroid nodule management since the introduction of thyroid fine needle aspiration (FNA). I am extremely pleased to join Veracyte and help educate the endocrinology community about this exciting technology that will benefit thyroid patients, while also reducing healthcare costs."
Veracyte's novel Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis combines expert cytopathology assessment of thyroid nodule FNA samples with the company's Afirma Gene Expression Classifier, a genomic test used to clarify inconclusive cytology results as benign or suspicious for cancer, and thus help patients avoid unnecessary surgery if their nodules are actually benign. Two independent clinical studies have shown that the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier can reclassify patients with indeterminate thyroid FNA results as "benign" with the same degree of accuracy as a benign cytopathology diagnosis. The test is now covered for Medicare patients nationwide, and Veracyte recently announced a global co-promotion partnership with Genzyme, a Sanofi company and one of the world's leading biotechnology companies, to make the test available to patients throughout the U.S. and, subsequently, worldwide.
Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S., with an estimated 56,460 new cases expected in 2012, according to the American Cancer Society. An estimated 450,000 thyroid nodule FNAs – a minimally invasive procedure to extract cells for examination under a microscope – are performed in the U.S. each year to rule out cancer. Thyroid nodule FNAs are challenging to interpret, however, producing ambiguous results in up to 30 percent of cases. Current guidelines recommend that most of these patients undergo thyroid resection for a definitive diagnosis, given that thyroid cancer is highly treatable. Post-surgical results, however, show that most of these patients (70-80 percent) have benign conditions.
Veracyte, Inc., based in South San Francisco, Calif., is pioneering the emerging field of molecular cytology, applying molecular biomarkers to cytology samples in order to improve disease diagnosis by clarifying indeterminate results obtained from current methods. The company aims to enable doctors to make more informed treatment decisions early, thus improving patient care and providing cost savings to the healthcare system. The company utilizes rigorous science and an extensive, multicenter clinical program throughout discovery and development. Veracyte's first product – the Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis – combines expert cytopathology assessment with the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier, a genomic test that clarifies inconclusive thyroid nodule cytology results as benign or suspicious for cancer. The company is currently in the early biomarker discovery phase for lung cancer and interstitial lung diseases. Veracyte is privately held and funded by Domain Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech and Versant Ventures. For more information, visit www.veracyte.com.
SOURCE Veracyte, Inc.