VolitionRx closes 1Q with $12M in cash while studying Nu.Q blood test as potential coronavirus diagnostic tool

The company recently conducted a proof of concept study involving 34 COVID-19 positive subjects and 50 control subjects

VolitionRx - VolitionRx Limited closes its first quarter of 2020 with $12 million in cash and cash equivalents
Its laboratory in Belgium has remained open during pandemic

VolitionRx Limited (NYSEAMERICAN:VNRX) announced Thursday it closed its first quarter of 2020 with $12 million in cash and cash equivalents.

It also released preliminary results from a study on how its Nu.Q blood test can be used as a diagnostic or prognostic tool in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“This work yet again shows the diverse potential of our Nu.Q platform," said CEO Cameron Reynolds in a statement. 

READ: VolitionRx welcomes proof of concept results as its Nu.Q assay detects two cancers common in dogs

The company said a recent proof of concept study involving 34 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 positive subjects and 50 control subjects revealed that nucleosomes were highly elevated in the PCR positive subjects.

Preliminary study results demonstrated an Area Under the Curve (AUC) for a single Nu.Q assay of 98.7% for PCR positive COVID versus control subjects with a sensitivity of 100% at 94% specificity.

A second Nu.Q assay also showed promising results with an AUC of 86.2%.

Volition said it plans to utilize the results of this trial and other ongoing studies to further its aim of developing a clinically useful product to help in the battle against the COVID-19 global pandemic and potentially other diseases.

The company noted that it has completely re-engineered its Nu.Q assays to now use a magnetic particle-based assay format leading to a step-change improvement in analytical performance -- which it expects to translate into improved clinical performance.

Volition said it expects to achieve the following milestones during 2020 and beyond:

  • Release a range of clinical data from COVID-19 studies currently underway.
  • Release a range of clinical data with its new optimized bead-based assays in colorectal, lung and other cancers.
  • Advance its large-scale colorectal and lung cancer trials in Europe, Asia and the US.
  • Advance the development of Nu.Q Capture by determining the level of discrimination of tumor-associated nucleosomes using mass spectrometry and/or sequencing.
  • Announce patient data demonstrating the wide utility of its epigenetic toolbox.
  • Complete further clinical studies for Nu.Q Vet with the aim of launching its first product in 2020.
  • Publish several abstracts and peer-reviewed scientific papers with clinical results as well as showing the robustness and utility of its Nu.Q platform.

COVID-19 impact

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during the first quarter of 2020, Volition said it implemented contingency planning to protect the health and well-being of its employees, with most employees working remotely where possible. 

Its laboratory in Belgium has remained open with the attendance of its dedicated laboratory technicians who have kept its research and development work on track with Volition's expectations. 

Many of its small and medium-sized studies have already been collected and their samples stored at its onsite biobank so the trial work underway and planned for the first half of 2020 is still tracking expectations.  

Contact the author: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

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