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Arbor Vita presents new data on cancer diagnostic at EUrogin

NICE, FRANCE, November 14 , 2008 Arbor Vita Corporation (AVC), a privately held biopharmaceutical company, presented new data today on its rapid, point-of-care prototype HPV test with a high positive predictive value for cervical cancer and pre-cancer. Targeted for use throughout the developing world, this diagnostic test is being developed in partnership with PATH. The presentation, "Development of a Rapid Diagnostic Test for Cervical Pre-Cancer and Cancer," was given during the "Molecular Markers" session at Eurogin 2008, an international conference providing a comprehensive overview of current scientific advances in the field of cervical cancer control, including early detection.

AVC Vice President of Cervical Cancer Programs Johannes Schweizer, Ph.D., presented results of a prototype rapid cervical cancer diagnostic test that was designed using AVC's PDZ discovery platform. This E6 strip test, now in development, detects the E6 oncoprotein produced by the human papillomavirus (HPV), the principal cause of cervical cancer. E6 is a diagnostic marker of high positive predictive value for cervical cancer because of its clinically relevant activity. The test is engineered to specifically detect E6 oncoprotein of high-risk HPV which, in concert with E7, is necessary for oncogenic transformation of cervical epithelial cells.

Previously, AVC has demonstrated E6 specificity for detecting the HPV16 strain, which is responsible for approximately 50% of all cervical cancers. The new data expands this research to detect three different strains, HPV16, HPV18 and HPV45, which together account for 80% of cervical cancers. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a multiplex test that detects the seven most prevalent HPV types which are known to progress to cervical cancer. The simple, easy-to-use test is designed to be used as a cancer-screening tool in low resource settings such as in developing countries, where appropriate methods for screening for cervical pre-cancer and cancer are still insufficient.

Dr. Schweizer commented, "Early detection of cancer-causing HPV infection is critical for the potential prevention and/or treatment of cervical cancer. Although only a very small number of HPV infections progress to cervical cancer, monitoring the E6 protein level because of its cancer-causing activity may prove to be a simple and cost-efficient test to identify women at risk for cervical cancer."


Contact: Debra Bannister
Arbor Vita Corporation

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