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N.Y. Dept. of Health Approves Blood Test for Colon Cancer


NEW YORK, N.Y.—Enzo Biochem, Inc., this week announced that the New York State Department of Health has approved Enzo Clinical Labs' use of the ColonSentry test for providing an assessment of a patient's risk of having colorectal cancer. The ColonSentry test was originally developed by GeneNews and requires only a small blood sample which can be collected during a routine blood draw. Enzo plans to begin offering the assay to clientele in March 2012.

The ColonSentry test uses RNA contained in blood to measure the level of the expression of seven genes. These genes serve as biomarkers whose levels can reflect the current presence or severity of a disease state. Interpretation of the status of these seven biomarkers can allow physicians to identify patients who have an increased current risk of having colorectal cancer. The test requires only a small sample of blood and can thus be easily incorporated as a pre-screening measure into routine yearly physical exams.

"The approval of this assay underscores the execution of our strategic plan to build our company into a unique developer and provider of high value molecular and esoteric products and services," said Barry Weiner, president of Enzo Biochem. "By utilizing the technological and assay development expertise of our Life Sciences group along with the translational medicine capabilities we have built at Enzo Clinical Labs, we have been able to develop a robust pipeline of products and technologies designed for today's healthcare market. We expect to announce additional developments arising from Enzo's unique integrated operating structure in the weeks ahead. Presently, Enzo Biochem is the only lab in the U.S. that is approved to offer this assay."

"With respect to ColonSentry™, we can now provide physicians with a new tool for their patients in assessing their risk for having colorectal cancer with a simple blood test," he added. "The information provided by this test can guide their recommendation for a colonoscopy. We know that patient compliance for colonoscopies is low―the ColonSentry™test is a non-invasive method that provides strong guidance to recommend a colonoscopy. Evidence supported recommendations can lead to higher compliance, potentially contributing to earlier detection of colorectal cancer and fewer deaths."

Dr. Joseph Felder, a gastroenterologist in New York City, said, "Identifying a higher risk for colon cancer in a given patient may give us a way to improve compliance with colonoscopy in those who are hesitant to be screened."

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