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Center for Molecular Medicine Partners with AviaraDx to Offer New Cancer Tests to Aid Physicians in Personalizing Treatment
Date:3/3/2008

Tests Improve Cancer Identification, Help Physicians Develop More Specific

Prognosis

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) today announced an agreement with San Diego-based AviaraDx to support three new tests that help physicians personalize cancer treatment.

The AviaraDx tests can provide physicians greater understanding of the molecular biology underlying patients' tumors. These test results will help physicians make more informed decisions in managing their oncology patients.

Under the agreement, CMM will educate physicians on the value and clinical utility of the tests, and coordinate quality-controlled sample preparation and shipping. Analysis of the tumor samples will be handled by AviaraDx in California -- a CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory.

Three tests are available: CancerTYPE ID(SM), H/I(SM) (HOXB13/IL17BR) and MGI(SM) (Molecular Grade Index). The CancerTYPE ID test provides a molecular classification of metastatic cancer, pinpointing the tumor's organ of origin which has important treatment ramifications and can be problematic in a small but significant number of cases. The H/I test measures a two-gene expression signature and is an independent predictor of treatment outcome for breast cancer patients receiving endocrine therapy; the information may be used by physicians to more rationally make the decision about how aggressively to treat, or not treat, against recurrence. Lastly, the MGI test is a five-gene tumor grade signature which discriminates between tumor grades 1 and 3 and is able to reclassify Grade 2 tumors as Grade-1 like and Grade 3-like; many breast tumors are graded as intermediate (Grade 2), which is not clinically useful for the treating oncologist.

"AviaraDx tests are excellent examples of the genomic revolution in medicine. Test results offer physicians and their patients information they can use in diagnosing, treating and managing cancer. Identification of the site of origin of a metastatic tumor is a thorny problem in a small but significant portion of metastatic cancer cases. The H/I test for endocrine resistance is a great tool for considering aggressiveness of treatment for ER+, node negative breast cancer patients," said CMM Executive Director Dr. Daniel H. Farkas. "We are very pleased to be one of the first labs in the nation to partner with AviaraDx, and have already received an enthusiastic response from area oncologists on the use of these tests."

"H/I and MGI represent molecular biomarkers that can be used to better stratify ER+, node-negative breast cancer patients into low, intermediate and high risk groups," states Dr. Antonius Schuh, CEO of AviaraDx. "By measuring discrete markers for endocrine resistance, H/I, and proliferation status we can greatly improve the physicians' ability to select the appropriate level of treatment for each individual patient. We are pleased to make this testing available through CMM to the patients and physicians of West Michigan."

The addition of the AviaraDx cancer tests are an important complement to the Veridex CellSearch(TM) tests also offered at CMM. While the AviaraDx tests will typically be used in the earlier stages of a patient's diagnosis and treatment, the CellSearch System helps physicians more effectively manage patients with more advanced metastatic colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.

About the CMM

The Center for Molecular Medicine, a joint venture between Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health and Van Andel Institute (VAI), brings West Michigan a cutting-edge laboratory that will aid in early diagnoses and enhance personalized medicine. It offers 21st century molecular technologies for investigation of complex diseases like cancer, heart disease, mental illness and other conditions at the DNA, RNA and protein levels. The Center brings new and increased opportunities for diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies to conduct trials in a world-class medical and clinical research environment. For more information, visit http://www.cmmdx.org.

About AviaraDx, Inc.

AviaraDx, Inc. is focused on developing and commercializing molecular diagnostic technologies for personalized medicine in cancer treatment. The company is targeting the oncology market with three first-in-class molecular cancer profiling technologies: CancerTYPE ID, Breast Cancer Profiling (H/I and MGI), Prostate Cancer Prognosis (PCP) and Prediction of Drug Response (PDR). AviaraDx has licensed some of its technologies for specific clinical indications to reference laboratories in the United States and Europe. Please visit the AviaraDx website at http://www.aviaradx.com for more information.


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SOURCE Center for Molecular Medicine
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