VolitionRx Limited (NYSEAMERICAN:VNRX), which develops cost-effective blood tests to help diagnose a range of cancers and other diseases in both humans and animals, announced the launch of its first product, the Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Austin-based company said the test is now available and can be ordered by veterinarians in the US from the GI Lab at Texas A&M University. The company said the test should be routinely used during annual wellness checks for “older dogs" (those that are seven years and older) and for cases where there is a high suspicion of cancer.
“It can also be a complementary test for younger dogs of breeds with a high risk for developing cancer in their lifetimes, such as Golden Retrievers,” noted the company. The potential market opportunity is significant given that there are around 77 million dogs in the US. Volition estimated it would earn $45 per test.
Volition is creating awareness about the test across the specialist oncology community, and among general practice veterinarians in Texas through a series of "lunch and learns," product mailings, a social media campaign and a webinar featuring Professor Heather Wilson-Robles and Dr Sue Ettinger, who is popularly known as Dr Sue Cancer Vet.
"The launch of the Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test is a stand out moment in our ten year history and an extremely important milestone for our company. It demonstrates that our Nu.Q platform has now attained both the reliability and reproducibility to launch in an independent laboratory,” said VolitionRx CEO Cameron Reynolds.
“After setting up our veterinary subsidiary just over a year ago, the combination of experience and expertise of the Volition Veterinary and Texas A&M teams has enabled this incredible speed to market, especially considering the pandemic.”
The VolitionRx boss also noted that the “hugely important test” could “fundamentally change” how veterinarians manage cancer detection in dogs.
"Unlike in humans, where routine cancer screening is relatively commonplace, there are few tests for animals. We are changing this today, with the launch of the Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test,” said Professor Heather Wilson-Robles of Texas A&M University, who is the chief medical officer at Volition Veterinary Diagnostics Development LLC.
“This simple, low-cost blood test can help streamline the diagnostic process and shorten the path to diagnosis thereby allowing treatment (be that therapy or surgery) to be initiated earlier, even before symptoms appear, increasing the chance of the dog's survival and its quality of life.”
According to the company, cancer is the most common cause of death in dogs over the age of two in the US and up to 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer in their lifetime. Currently, dogs suspected of having cancer are required to undergo a variety of diagnostic tests that may be expensive, time consuming and painful.
The Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test is a low-cost, easy-to-use ELISA-based screening test that identifies circulating nucleosomes, which are early markers of cancer, from a simple blood sample. It is a less invasive diagnostic process.
"At 100% specificity the test has been shown to detect 74% of lymphoma and 89% of hemangiosarcoma, common cancers which make up around one third of canine cancers," said the company.
The company is conducting a webinar on December 9 at 7 pm CT.
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive