PolypDx™ is the first and only urine-based test with a high sensitivity for detection of precancerous polyps
Edmonton, Alberta – October 22, 2018 — Metabolomic Technologies Inc. (MTI) today announced the launch of a $1.4 million project to evaluate a new colorectal cancer screening strategy using PolypDx™, the first and only urine test for the detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. Through a significant investment from Alberta Innovates, this project will bring together the Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, Alberta Health Services Public Laboratory Services and the Digestive Health Strategic Clinical Network in coordination with the University of Alberta – School of Public Health- Health Technology Unit, Institute of Health Economics and DynaLIFE Medical Labs.
The project, called the Canadian Assessment of PolypDx™ (CAP), will engage expert physicians, clinicians, patients and laboratory specialists to assess colorectal cancer screening in 3000 patients in five regions located throughout Alberta. A national working group of key provincial and national leaders in colorectal cancer screening will assess the results of this screening strategy for use throughout Canada. With the leadership of key stakeholders, this project brings a made-in-Alberta technology to Albertans and serves as a launching pad for the rest of Canada.
Colorectal cancer is the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada and is the second and third leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women, respectively. With early detection through screening, this form of cancer is preventable. About half of all colorectal cancers in Canada are diagnosed at stages III and IV. The 5-year colorectal cancer survival rate changes from 90% at stage I diagnosis to 13% at stage IV diagnosis [CCS].
Results from programs, such as the Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, have increased provincial screening rates from 36% in 2008 to 53% in 2012 [AHS 2015]. However, this is still short of the provincial target of 70% and has not significantly improved the low screening rates in rural areas.
Previously validated by clinical trials, PolypDx™ has been chosen for this strategy based on ease of sample collection, superior transport stability and early detection of precancerous polyps. PolypDx™ is anticipated to increase compliance with screening and improve early detection of colorectal cancer or its precursor condition in residents of rural and remote areas.
“We are very enthused about this assessment and want to thank Alberta Innovates, Alberta Health Services and other partners for their support in making this a reality. This is a significant milestone for MTI as we move forward in our goal to make PolypDx™ available to patients in Alberta and throughout Canada.” said David Chang, CEO of MTI.
Dr. Clarence Wong, Medical Director of the Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, added, “I see this strategy as a great option for Albertans who require screening and live in the more remote areas of our province. Research into innovative screening modalities, besides the current standard Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), has always been part of the mandate of the provincial program. PolypDx is a homegrown, viable technology that may meet the needs of those more isolated and harder to reach patients. It’s quick, easy and can truly save your life.”
Rollie Dykstra, Vice President of Investments at Alberta Innovates, said: “Alberta Innovates supported development of this test from the early stages. Now, we are investing so this medical product can be demonstrated in large-scale screening programs. There is a clear need in Alberta and elsewhere for a simpler yet effective test. We think this has the potential to save lives and save resources in our provincial health-care system.”
About Metabolomic Technologies Inc. (MTI):
Metabolomic Technologies Inc. (MTI) is a privately held Canadian company based in Edmonton, Alberta. MTI’s award-winning team is focussed on the mission of saving lives through early detection. A spin-off from the University of Alberta, MTI develops metabolomics-based diagnostic systems created from proprietary biomarker technologies. The Company’s flagship product, PolypDx™, an innovative urine screening test, offers a significantly higher sensitivity in detecting adenomatous polyps, a precursor to colorectal cancer. Already available in 12 US states, PolypDx™ provides healthcare professionals with a new tool in the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. The company received the 2017 ASTech Foundation Outstanding Leadership in Technology Award.
About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates invested in this project under its Product Demonstration Investment program, targeted at high-value investments with a strong focus on commercialization that will provide economic and social benefits for Alberta.
Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We ignite the power of innovation through our work with researchers, industry and entrepreneurs to move Alberta to a lower-carbon future, enhance the responsible use of land and water, and contribute to the improved health and well-being of Albertans. We provide technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships, and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do – bringing together bright minds and great ideas to drive innovation.
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Website: Screening for Life