VolitionRx Limited (NYSE:AMERICAN:VNRX) said Thursday that it is forming a Texas-based subsidiary called Volition Veterinary Diagnostics Development LLC and is tapping animal health expert Nathan Dewsbury to spearhead it.
The Isnes, Belgium-based life sciences company is developing simple, easy to use blood-based cancer tests to accurately diagnose a range of cancers. As cancer cells multiply, they are modified in a way that distinguishes them from healthy cells and the traits of the malignant disease appear on the nucleosomes, which are analyzed by Volition’s Nu.Q’s platform.
VolitionRx is 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.
READ: VolitionRx subsidiary inks pact with Texas A&M University to develop Nu.Q veterinary diagnostic blood tests
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.
"It was important to form a US-based Volition veterinary subsidiary to enable dedicated focus on the development and commercialization of our Nu.QTM Vet products and help drive product development and early revenue for the company," VolitionRx CEO Cameron Reynolds said in a statement.
Reynolds also noted that Dewsbury was a “highly experienced” business development executive and an alumnus of Texas A&M University. He has a science and business degree from the university.
25% of dogs will develop cancer at some stage of their life
In April, Volition announced the execution of a pact with Texas A&M University to collaborate on R&D for veterinary diagnostic products.
"There are currently no accurate, simple, affordable cancer screening tests available in veterinary medicine and yet 25% of dogs will develop cancer at some stage of their life,” Dewsbury said in Thursday's statement. “As with the human diagnostics, early diagnosis of cancer can dramatically improve outcomes.”
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.
The company has indicated that with pricing currently expected to be between $100-$200 per test, the veterinary market is a multi-billion-dollar opportunity.
Dewsbury said he looked forward to developing the company’s relationship with Texas A&M University and launching the "first Nu.QTM Vet product in the US market in 2020."
Reynolds, who founded VolitionRx in 2010, said larger trials in veterinary medicine to test the Nu.Q platform are currently underway.
"Volition's extensive intellectual property portfolio includes coverage of veterinary applications and we believe that not only could Nu.QTM Vet potentially provide significant revenue for Volition, it may also provide further technical validation of our platform in human diagnostics," Reynolds added.
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