Vermillion's OVA1 Receives New Statement by Society of Gynecologic Oncology
AUSTIN, Texas, June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Vermillion, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: VRML), a multivariate diagnostics company focused on gynecologic cancers and women's health, OVA1® has received a new statement on clinical validation and medical use issued by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO).
Citing peer-reviewed publications from two pivotal clinical studies of OVA1® versus standard of care, the statement also referred to OVA1 use within the context of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) 2011 Committee Opinion, "The Role of the Obstetrician-Gynecologist in the Early Detection of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer." This guideline, updated from a previous version issued in 2002, covers the management of adnexal masses, including serum markers for ovarian cancer detection.
SGO stated: "…The test may be useful in identifying women who should be referred to a gynecologic oncologist. Recent data have suggested that the OVA1 test along with physician clinical assessment may improve detection rates of malignancies among women with pelvic masses planning surgery." The complete statement on OVA1 clinical validation and medical use is available on SGO's website here.
This second SGO statement on OVA1 since its FDA clearance in 2009 represents another significant step toward acceptance of OVA1 as the standard of care for pre-surgically evaluating the risk of ovarian cancer in women with adnexal masses.
The new statement does two things:
- Refers to publications of OVA1's two pivotal clinical studies, comprised of the original FDA validation study published in June 2011 and the OVA500 "intended use" study published in 2013. Together, this offers an extensive, peer-reviewed proof source for physicians and payers to assess OVA1's clinical performance and comparative medical benefits versus today's standard of care.
- Places OVA1 use in the context of current ACOG practice guidelines, where CA125 has been used off-label for many years to predict malignancy before surgery, although with inferior performance.
Two key developments in 2013 underlined the timeliness of this updated statement by SGO. The first was the publication of the company's second pivotal clinical study, OVA500, in the February edition of Gynecologic Oncology. OVA500 was led by Dr. Robert E. Bristow, director of Gynecologic Oncology Services at UC Irvine Healthcare in Orange, California. The second development was a study in the June edition of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, which made the front page of the New York Times under the headline, "Widespread Flaws Found in Ovarian Cancer Treatment." This study, also led by Dr. Bristow, reported that most women with ovarian cancer "are treated by doctors and hospitals that see few cases of the disease and lack expertise in the complex surgery and chemotherapy that can prolong life." Dr. Bristow said, "If we could just make sure that women get to the people who are trained to take care of them, the impact would be much greater than that of any new chemotherapy drug or biological agent."
After reviewing the SGO statement, Dr. Hector Chapa, MD, FACOG and medical director of the Women's Specialty Center in Dallas observed: "This new statement by SGO affirms the important role which OVA1 should play in the workup of patients with an adnexal mass, and particularly before surgery is undertaken by a surgeon uncertified in the gynecologic oncology specialty. This is important because a large number of malignancies are discovered after a surgery where the mass was thought to be benign after negative CA125 or physical examination. Now, we await an updated guideline from ACOG, replacing CA125 with the greatly improved sensitivity and negative predictive value of OVA1. After all, ACOG first mentioned excitement about OVA1 in the Gynecology Practice bulletin of March 2011, prior to publication of the two clinical studies cited by SGO. I believe the new SGO statement is a very positive advance for patients, physicians and health insurance companies alike."
Vermillion President and CEO Thomas McLain commented: "We highly value the support SGO has provided in two statements about the benefits of OVA1 testing. For patients with ovarian cancer, Vermillion understands that timely access to a trained gynecologic oncology specialist is critical. Optimal treatment, survival and post-surgical outcomes all depend upon improvements in the detection of ovarian malignancies of all types, and as early as possible. OVA1 directly addresses the difficult challenge of identifying the more than 22,000 ovarian malignancies that are associated with 300,000 gynecologic surgeries performed every year. We look forward to supporting ACOG's review of this new clinical data and the SGO statement. We are committed to working to improve the standard of care for all gynecologic surgery patients at risk of ovarian cancer."
Vermillion, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML) is dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel high-value diagnostic tests that help physicians diagnose, treat and improve outcomes for patients. Vermillion, along with its prestigious scientific collaborators, has diagnostic programs in oncology, vascular medicine and women's health.
The company's lead diagnostic, OVA1®, is a blood test for pre-surgical assessment of tumors for malignancy, using a unique multi-biomarker approach. In a published clinical trial, OVA1 achieved 99% sensitivity in detecting epithelial ovarian cancers (EOC). This included 96% sensitivity for stage I EOC, the earliest and curable EOC stage, compared with 57% for the conventional biomarker CA125. In addition, OVA1 found 82% of malignancies missed by non-specialist pre-surgical assessment, and it increased detection of malignancy over ACOG guidelines from 77% to 94%. As the first protein-based, In Vitro Diagnostic Multivariate Index Assay (IVDMIA) cleared by the FDA, OVA1 also represents a new class of software-based diagnostics. Additional information about these published clinical trials is available on Vermillion's website at www.vermillion.com.
Certain matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding Vermillion's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions. These forward-looking statements are based on Vermillion's current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Vermillion notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to materially differ include but are not limited to: (1) uncertainty as to Vermillion's ability to protect and promote its proprietary technology; (2) Vermillion's lack of a lengthy track record successfully developing and commercializing diagnostic products; (3) uncertainty as to whether Vermillion will be able to obtain any required regulatory approval of its future diagnostic products; (4) uncertainty of the size of market for its existing diagnostic tests or future diagnostic products, including the risk that its products will not be competitive with products offered by other companies, or that users will not be entitled to receive adequate reimbursement for its products from third party payers such as private insurance companies and government insurance plans; (5) uncertainty that Vermillion has sufficient cash resources to fully commercialize its tests and continue as a going concern; (6) uncertainty whether the trading in Vermillion's stock will become significantly less liquid; and (7) other factors that might be described from time to time in Vermillion's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of this report, and Vermillion expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in Vermillion's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, unless required by law.
This release should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Copies are available through the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval system (EDGAR) at www.sec.gov.
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