Genetron Health Joins Major R&D Project Led by the Ministry of Science and Technology in China for Early Screening of Lung and Digestive System Cancers
BEIJING, Aug. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genetron Holdings Limited (“Genetron Health” or the “Company”, Nasdaq: GTH), a leading precision oncology platform company in China that specializes in offering molecular profiling tests, today announced its participation in the launch of a major national research project for early screening of lung and digestive system cancers led by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (“MOST”).
Based on the Company’s proprietary technology, Mutation CapsuleTM, Genetron Health is collaborating with the National Cancer Center and the Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (“CAMS”) for the second time, to provide key technological contributions for the "Liquid Biopsy-based Malignant Tumor Early Screening Technology Research and Development Project”. The launch meeting for the project was held in Beijing on August 29.
At the meeting, representing Genetron Health was Sizhen Wang, the Company’s co-founder and CEO. Other attendees at the event included Jie He, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Director of National Cancer Center and President of Cancer Hospital, CAMS; Jie Wang, Director of Department of Oncology, Cancer Hospital, CAMS; and Qian Liu, professor at the Cancer Hospital, CAMS.
The project’s goal is to achieve a breakthrough in the key technologies of liquid biopsy for cancer screening. Under this premise, the project targets to build a highly sensitive, highly specific, efficient and affordable liquid biopsy-based early detection technology platform, and develop proprietary cancer screening and early detection tests. The project will focus on lung and digestive system cancers, and is designed to include a multi-center, prospective cohort study in lung cancer of 120,000 high-risk individuals in 20 provinces, as well as a cohort study in digestive system cancer of more than 100,000 patients in urban areas in China. Currently, Genetron Health is the only company in China participating in national key research and development projects organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology for liver, lung and digestive cancer early screening.
“Cancer has become the leading cause of death in China and is a serious threat to people’s health and lives, yet most patients who seek treatment are already at a terminal stage,” said Jie He. “The 2019 government work report expresses the need to promote early screening, early detection and treatment, and scientific research on cancers, aiming at solving this critical problem of people’s livelihood. The launch of this project indicates that preventative screening and early detection of cancers has become a major research and development direction for the Ministry of Science and Technology, and it is also part of the national strategy. We hope to increase the depth, prevalence and practicability of cancer early screening, early detection and treatment research to benefit cancer patients.”
“Early detection and treatment are the most effective ways to improve clinical outcomes in cancer patients. We choose to partner with Genetron Health for its leading technology capabilities and we expect to develop a proprietary malignant tumor screening and early detection testing kit and implement into clinical use to significantly improve the cure rates of these types of cancer for our citizens,” said Jie Wang.
“The importance of early cancer screening cannot be overemphasized. However, existing examinations lack precise and high-quality tumor screenings and only use a single biomarker target. Early cancer diagnosis and screening generally does not meet the standard of specificity and sensitivity, which will mislead patients. With this national research project, we hope to achieve technology breakthroughs and move past the challenges of current clinical screenings,” said Qian Liu.
Genetron Health, as a leading innovator in the field of early cancer screening in China, plans to adopt its self-developed Mutation CapsuleTM technology for this project. Mutation CapsuleTM requires only a small amount of blood to simultaneously detect methylation and several types of ctDNA alternations including SNV, Indel, CNV, etc. This will allow multiple tests to be performed on one sample without sacrificing sensitivity. The Mutation Capsule technology has shown high sensitivity and specificity preliminary data in the early screening study of liver cancer.
“We are honored to be involved in this major government-led project based on our Mutation CapsuleTM technology, which highlights our technological strength in cancer early screening. In addition, we are delighted that we are able to apply this technology beyond liver cancer and now into lung and digestive system cancers,” said Sizhen Wang. “We will continue to expand our early screening research into more types of cancer and to accelerate the clinical development and commercialization effort. Our goal is to develop tests with high performance and affordable pricing in order to reduce cancer-related healthcare expenses in our country, and more importantly, to save more lives.”
About Genetron Health Early Screening for Liver Cancer
In March 2019, Genetron Health, in collaboration with the National Cancer Center and the Cancer Hospital, CAMS, deployed Mutation CapsuleTM technology to complete a prospective cohort study in liver cancer early screening (the HCCscreenTM) on hepatitis B virus carriers using cell free DNA (cfDNA) and protein markers. Results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), cited in the Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary Liver Cancer (2019 edition) issued by the National Health Commission, and Genetron Health was approved to join a Major National Science and Technology Project by MOST.
Genetron Health has since continued to optimize the Mutation CapsuleTM platform and liver early screening test in its ongoing cohort study with 4,500 HBsAg+ individuals. Preliminary data from 297 patients at one center demonstrated over 92% sensitivity, 93% specificity and a 35% positive predictive value.
About Genetron Holdings Limited
Genetron Holdings Limited (“Genetron Health” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:GTH)is a leading precision oncology platform company in China that specializes in cancer molecular profiling and harnesses advanced technologies in molecular biology and data science to transform cancer treatment. The Company has developed a comprehensive oncology portfolio that covers the entire spectrum of cancer management, addressing needs and challenges from early screening, diagnosis and treatment recommendations, as well as continuous disease monitoring and care. Genetron Health also partners with global biopharmaceutical companies and offers customized services and products. For more information, please visit ir.genetronhealth.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements regarding the potential benefits and advantages of Genetron Health’s Mutation Capsule™ technology, which involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the Company’s beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may”, “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “target,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. Further information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties or factors is included in the Company’s filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.
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