Everist Genomics Announces Worldwide Availability of OncoDefender™-CRC

World's First Genetic Test to Assess Risk of Recurrence Following Surgery In Both Stage I/II Colon Cancer and Stage I Rectal Cancer Patients

Mar 28, 2011, 08:30 ET from Everist Genomics

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Everist Genomics today announced the worldwide commercial availability of its OncoDefender-CRC colorectal cancer assay, the first and only molecular prognostic test capable of accurately predicting the risk of recurrence of cancer in patients previously treated with surgical resection of a Stage I/II colon cancer tumor or Stage I rectal cancer tumor.  The OncoDefender-CRC test examines expression levels of a panel of genes extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cancer tissue taken at the time of surgery, and uses a proprietary computer-generated decision rule to identify patients who are at risk of recurrence.  Patients identified by OncoDefender-CRC at high-risk of cancer recurrence may benefit from adjuvant therapy or other more aggressive treatment options, as reported at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. (1)

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"We are pleased to deliver a new molecular prognostic test capable of assessing recurrence risk in early stage colorectal cancer patients, including the neglected stage I subset, where the lack of positive predictive prognostics presents a significant unmet need," said Prasad Sunkara, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Everist Genomics.  OncoDefender-CRC was developed through extensive clinical research and assay validation studies involving over 500 patients from around the world.  "OncoDefender-CRC will help physicians make patient management decisions that promptly and reliably direct the most effective treatment to those individual Stage I/II colon cancer and Stage I rectal cancer patients at high risk for tumor recurrence, while minimizing the exposure of low-risk patients to unnecessary, costly, and potentially toxic chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy."

Traditional standards for assessing a patient's risk of cancer recurrence have depended solely on the cancer's anatomical characteristics (e.g. tumor size, depth of tissue invasion and migration to other organs and tissues).  OncoDefender-CRC determines the tumor's aggressiveness based on its genetics makeup and molecular profile.  The clinical data indicate that the performance characteristics of the OncoDefender-CRC test are superior to other methods currently in use to predict recurrence.  Furthermore, studies demonstrate that high-risk OncoDefender-CRC results correlate with cohorts colorectal cancer patients that recur within 3 years of surgery, while low-risk results correlate more closely with those patients without recurrence within 3 years.  As a further indication of the overall accuracy and robustness of OncoDefender-CRC, the test does not report indeterminate or "no-call" results from any samples that meet quality acceptance and processing criteria.  

According to Peter F. Lenehan, M.D., Ph.D. Chief Medical Officer of Everist Genomics, accurate assessment of the risk of recurrence for Stage I and Stage II colorectal cancer patients addresses a significant unmet medical need.  "Knowing a patient's risk of recurrence after surgery directly informs decisions regarding post-operative treatment and the aggressiveness of follow-up," said Dr. Lenehan.  "Molecular prognostics are valuable tools that reflect a tumor's underlying biology better than traditional histopathological examination and staging.  The OncoDefender-CRC test is an important medical advance because it helps physicians identify aggressive tumors amongst stage I and II colorectal cancer patients.  Physicians now have a valuable new prognostic tool to help them identify patients at risk of recurrence and most likely to benefit from adjuvant therapy."

About the External Validation Study

The study confirmed that, in a patient population from four international sites, OncoDefender-CRC was able to differentiate those patients at high risk from those at low risk for cancer recurrence after potentially curative surgery.  For stages I/II colorectal cancer (n=115), OncoDefender-CRC correctly classified 32/46 cases of recurrence and 38/69 cases of non-recurrence (sensitivity 70%, specificity 55%).  'High risk' patients had a significantly higher probability of recurrence within 36 months than 'low risk' patients (PPV 0.51, NPV 0.73, HR 2.06 (95% CI: 1.10 to 3.86; p=0.020)). In contrast, the standard prognostic guidelines described by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology were unable to differentiate recurrence risk in this population (p=0.315).  The high sensitivity and PPV of the test exceeds that for other prognostic tests that have been developed for early stage CRC, thereby providing improved identification of those patients at highest risk for recurrence.  

Despite the fact that diagnostic testing is said to influence 70% of all healthcare decisions, obtaining adequate reimbursement remains a significant concern for patients and their providers. (2)

To address this issue, Everist Genomics has developed a unique financial assistance program that will enable patients to obtain the testing they need regardless of insurance coverage or financial status.  Qualifying patients are eligible to have up to 80% of the cost of the OncoDefender-CRC test covered through one of Everist Genomics Financial Assistance programs.  

About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is one of the major causes of cancer death worldwide, accounting for more than 150,000 new cases and 55,000 deaths in the United States every year and 125,000 deaths each year in Europe. (3)To date, surgery, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy when appropriate, is the mainstay of therapy for patients with localized disease.

Of the estimated 68,000 patients that will be diagnosed with early-stage colorectal cancer this year in the US (approximately 22,000 Stage I, and 46,000 Stage II), 90% of those with Stage I and 70% of those with Stage II likely will be cured by surgery alone.  The remaining 10% of those with Stage I (about 2,200) and 30% with Stage II (about 14,000) will ultimately recur and die of advanced colorectal cancer, consequent to undetected tumor remaining following definitive surgery. (4)Many of these latter patients may have been cured or had their lives prolonged had they been more accurately identified as being at 'high-risk' for tumor recurrence and received post-surgical resection adjuvant therapy.  Identifying those patients at high-risk for colorectal cancer recurrence can reduce mortality, morbidity and cost of care.  

Independent studies(5) have demonstrated a significant improvement in overall survival rates for high-risk Stage I and Stage II colorectal cancer patients receiving adjuvant therapy within 60 days following surgical resection of their tumor.

About Everist Genomics

Everist Genomics is a prognostics company focused on developing gene-based molecular assays for the prediction of cancer recurrence and proprietary point-of-care equipment for the evaluation and management of cardiovascular disease. Using its patented Evolver™ technology platform, Everist Genomics is successfully developing and commercializing entirely new classes of patent-protected molecular biomarkers and sensor technologies which employ proprietary equipment, devices and software to help physicians make individualized treatment and drug prescribing decisions.  The privately owned company was founded in 2002 and is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  For more information, please visit www.everistgenomics.com

(1) Zosia Chustecka. More Genetic Tests to Predict Recurrence in Stage II Colon. Medscape Today. January 20, 2011. Free article can be found at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/736058

(2) Matthew Zubiller. Managing The Advanced Diagnostic Testing Boom. Self-Funding Magazine,

Jan 14, 2011.  Free article can be found at:  http://www.selffundingmagazine.com/article-detail.php?issue=issue-13&article=managing-the-advanced-diagnostic.

(3) Wolpin BM, Meyerhardt JA, Mamon HJ, Mayer RJ. Adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer. Cancer J Clin 57:168–185, 2007.  

(4) Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD. Colon Adenocarcinoma, EMedicine Oncology, Medscape.  Updated: Feb 3, 2011.  Free article can be found at: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/277496-overview

(5) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Source reference:  Biagi JJ et al. "Time to adjuvant chemotherapy in colorectal cancer: Systematic review and meta-analysis" ASCO GI 2011; Abstract 364; Bayraktar UD, Chen E, Bayraktar S, Sands LR, Marchetti F, Montero AJ, Rocha-Lima CM. Does delay of adjuvant chemotherapy impact survival in patients with resected stage II and III colon adenocarcinoma? Cancer. 2010 Dec 17.; J Clin Oncol. 2010 Jan 20;28(3):460-5. Epub 2009 Dec 14.  Association between disease-free survival and overall survival when survival is prolonged after recurrence in patients receiving cytotoxic adjuvant therapy for colon cancer: simulations based on the 20,800 patient ACCENT data set.  de Gramont AHubbard JShi QO'Connell MJBuyse MBenedetti JBot BO'Callaghan CYothers GGoldberg RMBlanke CDBenson ADeng QAlberts SRAndre TWolmark NGrothey ASargent D. Hopital Saint Antoine, Group Hospitalier Pitie-Salpetriere, Paris, France; et. Al.

SOURCE Everist Genomics