Life sciences company VolitionRx Ltd (NYSEAMERICAN:VNRX) is broadening the reach of its clinical trial program with the announcement of new agreements to conduct three large-scale colorectal cancer research studies across Asia.
The Asian studies will add to the momentum behind VolitionRx’s Nu.QTM colorectal cancer blood test, which is also being analyzed as part of big trials involving 45,000 Europeans and as many as 13,500 subjects in the US.
Volition today said it has signed agreements with National Taiwan University to conduct two large-scale studies, under the supervision of Professor Han-Mo Chiu, clinical professor with NTU’s department of Internal Medicine, and Professor Takahisa Matsuda, director of the cancer screening center with the National Cancer Screening Hospital in Tokyo.
In addition to the research with National Taiwan University, VolitionRx has also signed an agreement for a 719-subject study to be run in collaboration with Professor Khay Guan Yeoh of the National University of Singapore.
Read: VolitionRX boss praises “strong progress” in 2017; thinks Nu.QTM panel could be new gold standard in cancer detection
All three studies are being conducted to test Volition’s proprietary Nu.Q platform for the detection and diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
The first trial will include 5,000 subjects with no symptoms of colorectal cancer and the second will evaluate up to 2,000 patients with colorectal cancer.
"The early detection of colorectal cancer could benefit the survival rate of patients significantly. There is a clear need for a product which not only has high accuracy but is also easy to use and affordable, such as a routine blood test,” Chiu said.
Keeping a Buy rating on the stock and a US$6 price target, Jason McCarthy, an analyst with Maxim group, considers Nu.Q blood tests a break-through given that the preferred methods of screening for colorectal cancer are currently colonoscopies in the US and fecal immunochemical tests in Europe.
"Non-compliance with screening using colonoscopy or fecal-based testing remains a significant issue and for VolitionRx represents a large opportunity for Nu.Q," McCarthy wrote in a recent note to investors.
VolitionRx develops simple and cost-effective blood tests designed to help diagnose a range of cancers. The tests are based on VolitionRx's Nucleosomics technology platform, which identifies and measures nucleosomes in the bloodstream or in other bodily fluid.
In the US, Volition is taking part in what is believed to be the largest-ever colorectal cancer screening study in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute’s Early Detection Research Network with a cohort of over 13,500 subjects. Collection is underway and is expected to be completed in 2020.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet it currently remains the least prevented form of cancer.
-- Updates story with analyst commentary --