VolitionRx Limited (NYSE AMERICAN:VNRX) updated shareholders and analysts Tuesday on promising early data on its Nu.Q technology platform, plans for potential new paths to revenue, and progress on its lung cancer detection clinical trial program using its novel Nu.Q blood test.
Founder CEO Cameron Reynolds noted during the Capital Markets Day event at the New York Stock Exchange that it has been a “busy quarter” for the life sciences company, with the public announcement of a number of initiatives.
The company shared preliminary results from two proof of concept studies in lung cancer. Reynolds highlighted that Volition has signed a pact with the prestigious National Taiwan University through its wholly-owned subsidiary Belgian Volition SPRL to conduct a large-scale lung cancer study.
READ: VolitionRx expands its lung cancer detection clinical trial program using its novel Nu.Q blood test
The Isnes, Belgium-based company has designed routine Nu.Q blood-based diagnostic tests to screen for colorectal and prostate cancers that reduce the need for more invasive colonoscopies and biopsies. It could also work as a screening tool for endometriosis and has potential veterinary uses as well.
Volition’s unique Nu.Q technology looks for very early ‘nucleosomic’ markers of cancer. In other words, the Nu.Q technology uses an array of simple, cost-effective blood tests to identify early-stage cells before it spreads.
A comprehensive study will now be conducted by Professor Chen Jin-Shing in the department of surgery, at the National Taiwan University, where 1,200 subjects, including 1,000 with lung cancer, will undergo low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scanning, which uses less radiation than a conventional CT scan.
"The early data of the Nu.Q technology platform is promising, but clearly larger scale studies are required,” said Professor Chen Jin-Shing who will be collaborating with Volition in evaluating its Nu.Q technology platform. “Lung cancer remains the deadliest of all the cancers and there is a high unmet clinical need for either a non-invasive early stage lung cancer detection test or for a triage test which can improve the specificity of the low-dose CT scan currently used."
Volition expects to release preliminary data relating to the first 600 patient samples in first quarter of 2020.
Positive preliminary results
Volition recently shared preliminary results from two proof-of-concept studies. In a recent lung cancer cohort, involving 76 subjects, a single Nu.Q assay test detected lung cancer, including stage 1 lung cancer.
A second lung cancer study, evaluating 152 subjects, also detected lung cancer and a third study using a single Nu.Q assay to determine the presence of colorectal cancer in 123 subjects also picked up the presence of colorectal cancer with an Area Under the Curve (AUC) of 72%.
Push into veterinary market
VolitionRx is also seeing encouraging preliminary results from the use of its Nu.Q. platform in veterinary medicine after discovering that nucleosomes in the blood can also be detected in dogs. The company is working with Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to conduct a study of Nu.Q Vet, a key target market for early revenue given the simpler regulatory pathway for veterinary products.
On Tuesday, Belgian Volition SPRL inked a collaborative research pact with Texas A&M University to focus on the veterinary diagnostic market utilizing its easy to use, cost-effective blood tests to help diagnose a range of cancers.
READ: VolitionRx subsidiary inks pact with Texas A&M University to develop Nu.Q veterinary diagnostic blood tests
The Memorandum of Understanding explores the idea of Belgian Volition forming a new subsidiary in the US to focus on the veterinary diagnostic market utilizing its nucleosomics technology with Texas A&M University collaborating further on R&D and potentially taking a stake in the new entity.
The US is currently the largest veterinary market in the world, with more than 55 million dogs and approximately 4.2 million cancer diagnoses each year.
Dr Jason Terrell, CEO of Volition America Inc said that there are currently no accurate, simple, affordable cancer screening or diagnostic tests available in veterinary medicine.
“And yet 25% of dogs will develop cancer at some stage of their life,” said Dr Terrell. “With pricing currently expected to be between $100-$200 per test, we believe that this is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity. We aim to have the first Nu.Q Vet product on the market in the US in 2020."
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