March 16, 2015
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Since National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month was first recognized in March 2000, fewer people are being diagnosed with colon cancer and those who are diagnosed are more likely to survive. The American Cancer Society credits this promising shift to more widespread screening.
Despite this promising trend, colorectal cancer rates remain alarming. The American Cancer Society says that one in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetimes. In 2015 alone, the organization expects in the United States more than 140,000 new cases and nearly 50,000 deaths from the disease. Despite these statistics and excellent survival rates when colorectal cancer is discovered at an early stage, nearly 40 percent of people age 50 or more elect to forego the recommended screening colonoscopy.
Knoxville, Tenn.-based EDP Biotech Corporation hopes to encourage greater colorectal cancer screening. The privately held medical device company focused on the development and commercialization of human immunodiagnostic tests has developed ColoMarker, a simple blood test intended to reach “colonoscopy hold-outs”; those who cannot get colonoscopies for geographic or economic reasons; and those who avoid other inconvenient, stool-based tests.
“This test can be a game changer in the fight against colorectal cancer,” EDP Biotech CEO Alan Jernigan said. “Despite the fact that colonoscopies have been proven to save lives, far too many people aren’t having them. ColoMarker can help reach that population and discover colorectal cancer when it’s most treatable.”
ColoMarker is a blood test that detects a protein biomarker shown to exist in elevated levels in colorectal cancer patients. It requires no fasting or other preparation. In pre-clinical studies, the test has shown promising results in detecting colorectal cancer in the early stages of the disease while it is most treatable. Results show a colorectal cancer sensitivity of 97 percent and a specificity of 86 percent.
The ColoMarker test has already received the CE Mark, which means it can be marketed in 73 countries, including Europe. The company is pursuing FDA approval.
“We’re gearing up for worldwide availability of ColoMarker,” EDP Biotech Chairman and Founder Tom Boyd said. “We’ve increased our personnel by 80 percent and expect to hire approximately 50 new people within the next 24 months.”
About EDP Biotech Corporation
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., EDP Biotech is dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative cancer diagnostics, including simple cost-effective and accurate ELISA based colon cancer technology. For more information on EDP Biotech, visit http://www.edpbiotech.com. ColoMarker is not currently approved for clinical use in the U.S.