Unilabs, a leading supplier of clinical laboratory and medical diagnostic imaging services in Europe and Diagnoplex SA, a developer of molecular diagnostics for colorectal cancer announced today the Swiss market launch of Colox®, a non-invasive screening test for colorectal cancer. Colox® is offered as a service by Unilabs’ clinical diagnostic service laboratories in Switzerland. Additional countries within Unilabs’ network of laboratories are planned to follow in 2014.
The novel Colox® test can detect colorectal cancer from a routine blood sample through all stages of disease, with a particular focus on early stages, where the prognosis is optimal. The test is based on quantifying a unique 29 biomarker molecular signature using quantitative RT-PCR. The effectiveness of Colox® was confirmed in a series of prospective clinical studies. Colorectal cancer screening guidelines indicate that women and men at average risk should be offered screening for colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps beginning at age 50 years.
‘We are proud to offer this important new option to efficiently screen for colorectal cancer, the second most important cancer in terms of mortality in developed countries’ comments Stavros Therianos, CEO of Diagnoplex SA and adds ‘our goal is now to make the test available to as many individuals at risk as possible. In parallel with this robust commercialization effort, we are looking to raise the additional funds necessary to perform complementary clinical studies leading to a full reimbursement of Colox®. To this end, we are open to discussion with interested parties’.
Alain Cahen, Unilabs’ Managing Director in Switzerland, said: ‘It is a great success to announce that Colox® is now produced by Unilabs. We have prepared a distribution strategy and a communication campaign that will reach doctors as of March. This campaign will include information regarding the logistics and availability of Colox® in the different regions of Switzerland, including explanatory brochures for the doctors and for the individuals at risk’.
Thierry Mauvernay, Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm Group – a lead investor in Diagnoplex – agreed, adding: ‘We believe that the Colox® test offers a much better and easier solution for patients than existing alternatives. As such we believe that the availability of Colox® will help increase the early detection of this important cancer, allowing treatment at an earlier stage where there is a much better chance of success’.