DiaGenic appoints SRL Ranbaxy Pathology Laboratories for Marketing Diagenic's breast cancer test in India

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Oslo, May 24 (ANI/Business Wire India): DiaGenic ASA and SRL Ranbaxy Ltd. have announced that they have signed a commercial agreement to commence marketing DiaGenic's breast cancer test in India.

This development follows rapidly from a presentation at The Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology Societies of India (FOGSI) annual meeting in New Delhi in February where the interim results of a large Indian clinical study on this test were presented.

DiaGenic has developed a patient friendly diagnostic test for early detection of breast cancer in which a woman merely has to give a small blood sample, which is then subjected to sophisticated laboratory analysis to detect changes in gene expression.

The interim results from the Indian study showed that the gene set, previously identified in Scandinavian and US cohorts, also had similar good diagnostic and predictive performance in the Indian population.

The test is not affected by ethnic variation or menopausal state of the patient, allowing for widespread use to diagnose breast cancer at an early stage.

SRL Ranbaxy Limited is the largest clinical reference pathology laboratory network not only in India, but also in South East Asia, with vast experience in launching new innovative diagnostic tests, including advanced molecular diagnostic tests.

These tests are supported by more than 350 doctors and scientists working 24x7 to ensure first class service for the demanding customer.

With its Quality Assurance systems that have been repeatedly accredited by the very best of National and International bodies like NABL, Govt. of India and College of American Pathologists, USA, it has the unique distinction of serving more than 5 million customers annually.

The entry of the DiaGenic test addresses a significant medical need in India, where breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.

The lack of a coordinated national screening program means that breast cancer is typically detected at a much later stage in India, resulting in much higher mortality rates. Nearly one hundred thousand women died last year from breast cancer.

The disease is also on the rise, with an estimated 250 thousand new cases by 2015. A key problem has been the detection of only 10 per cent at an early stage, which lags far behind Western countries where this detection rate reaches as high as 65 per cent.

The DiaGenic breast cancer test offers a unique set of advantages over existing diagnostic methods. The use of venous blood as the test sample is both discreet and patient friendly.

The DiaGenic test detects breast cancer in pre-menopausal women with good accuracy whereas mammography is problematic due to higher breast density in younger women, which obscures the mammographic image.

This is especially important in India, where breast cancer is seen at a significantly lower age than in Western countries. Finally, the disease itself, if present, can be discovered at an early stage, thus paving the way for effective intervention and improved survival rates in affected women.

There is more than 90 per cent chance of surviving breast cancer if detected at an early stage whereas the mortality rate reaches 90 per cent if this disease is caught at a very late stage.

Sanjeev K. Chaudhry, CEO of SRL Ranbaxy predicts high demand for the DiaGenic test, "Awareness of breast cancer is growing in India and with SRL Ranbaxy reaching out to serve the maximum number of Gynecologists and Oncologists in the country, it would enable them to actively promote the cause of women's health in India, with increased care and concern. We believe the DiaGenic test will provide the perfect incentive for women to take charge of their health and undergo regular check-ups. SRL Ranbaxy will put in place intensive and extensive market facing strategies to ensure rapid growth in the market, both locally and internationally, and will invest substantial amounts and efforts to inform the market on the availability of this new innovative test."

DiaGenic CEO Erik Christensen, MD PhD, said: "We are delighted to partner with SRL Ranbaxy, which has distinguished itself as the leading diagnostics service provider in India. With a network of nearly 40 Labs cum Wellness Centres and more than 750 collection centers across India, they will be able to ensure the test is widely accessible. The growing awareness of breast cancer in India combined with the key advantages of the DiaGenic test should be well received by clinicians and the public alike."

The clinical research study and commercial entry of the new breast cancer test in India was coordinated by DiaGenic's Indian partner, PAC Med Biotech Pvt. Ltd. of Kolkata.

All laboratory services will be undertaken in India and provided by LabIndia Instruments Pvt. Ltd.

The launch is scheduled within the coming months and will be available to the public at SRL Ranbaxy's labs and collection centers throughout India.

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