VolitionRx Ltd (NYSE AMERICAN:VNRX) announced Thursday that it is pushing into the area of veterinary medicine after seeing “very encouraging” preliminary results from a proof of concept study using its key NuQ diagnostic blood tests for cancer testing in dogs.
The study showed that nucleosomes in the blood – which are evaluated for the presence of cancer by the company’s NuQ diagnostic blood tests – can also be detected in dogs. This means that the same cancer diagnosis method applied to humans is likely to work on animals and Volition will now test its NuQ platform in larger trials for veterinary medicine.
Volition’s NuQ diagnostic blood tests, which are now used to screen for colorectal and prostate cancers, work effectively as cancer leads to irregular levels of nucleosomes -a section of DNA wrapped around a core of proteins – in the blood. By measuring and analyzing the nucleosomes, the NuQ tests identify cancers.
The stock added 2.4% to $2.95 in Thursday’s morning trading session on the news.
Read: VolitionRx's Nu.Q blood-based diagnostic tests offer great potential, says Oppenheimer analyst
Volition’s intellectual property portfolio includes coverage of veterinary medicine applications. But the Belgium-based company intends to outsource much of the clinical trial work required in the veterinary area to partners and keep its focus on clinical research for human cancers.
The company plans to determine the performance of Nu.Q assays for larger trials in the most prevalent forms of canine malignancies in partnership with Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles an associate professor with Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences in the Small Animal Clinical Sciences department.
“We're confident this partnership will provide the framework to expedite the development and commercialization of our veterinary diagnostic platform,” said Dr. Jason Terrell, CEO of Volition America, in a statement.
“The U.S. is currently the largest veterinary market in the world and has a clearly defined regulatory pathway via the USDA, requiring fewer and smaller clinical studies than the FDA process for human diagnostics. This generally allows a much faster route to revenue for veterinary products as compared to human products," Terrell added.
Volition’s new push into veterinary medicine was announced at the 10th anniversary meeting of the Belgian Technology Mission at Texas A&M University. The meeting was sponsored in part by the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency, a long-standing supporter of Volition in Belgium.
Volition is a life sciences company focused on developing simple, easy-to-use and cost-effective blood tests designed to diagnose a range of cancers. While its research and development activities are based in Belgium, the company has offices in London, Texas and Singapore.