Private cancer testing company Grail said early Friday that it has begun selling its blood test for many cancers in the United States, making it the first company that could eventually be a huge market for simple tests that detect early a number of cancers.
The Grail also presented data from an ongoing test on a test called Galleri. The company said Galleri found exactly 29 cancers in a trial population of more than 6,500 people over the age of 50. The cancer he discovered was of 13 different types, including breast, lung and prostate. Almost 40% of cancers detected by the test are still localized.
The company said that the interim data from the study show that the chances that a person actually has cancer when Galleri returns a positive test result is 44.6%, which according to the company is in line with earlier experiments.
The false-positive percentage for the test, which is calculated based on the total population examined, is below 1%, according to an earlier Galleri study.
“Early detection of cancer, when treatment is more likely to be successful, is one of the most important opportunities we have to reduce the severity of cancer,” said Dr. Joshua Ofman, Grail’s chief medical officer, in a statement. . “These data suggest that if used on a scale with existing screening tests, the Galleri test could have a profound effect on how cancer is detected and ultimately on public health.”
The news will add more fire to the growing controversy over the gene-generating giant
(ILMN) effort to buy Grail, which plans an initial public offering before Ilumina was swept away last year. The acquisition has been halted by regulators in both the United States and Europe. Earlier this week,
CEO Francis de Souza accused the Federal Trade Commission of “time-wasting maneuvers” in an interview with the Financial Times.
The FTC has launched its own lawsuit to challenge the acquisition amid disputes between Illumina and European regulators. The Illumina CEO told the FT that he wanted the FTC to move forward and close the case.
Shares of Illumina, which fell 2% on Thursday, fell 0.1% in pre-trading. The stock has grown by 9.3% so far this year.
The development of a multi-cancer blood test is something of a sacred grail for the diagnostic industry, hence the name of the company. Like To Barron reported in April,
(ticker: EXAS) also works for a blood test for many cancers. The Grail has already won
to the store. Shares of Exact Sciences rose 0.5% in pre-trading on Friday.
Other companies, including
(GH) and others already sell so-called liquid biopsies used in cancer patients.
The Grail said the Galleri will be available in the United States only on prescription and is intended for people at increased risk of cancer to be used in addition to existing screening tests for single cancers.
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