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20/20 GeneSystems, Inc. on Hunt for $5 Million to Broaden Lung Cancer Diagnostic’s Market, Launch in Kidney Cancer, CEO Says

5/20/2013 10:28:27 AM

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May 20, 2013 -- 20/20 GeneSystems, a private, Maryland-based diagnostics company, is seeking about USD 5m in financing over the summer to finance the US marketing efforts for its lung and kidney cancer tests, CEO Jonathan Cohen said.

The financing will be used to expand the marketing of its lung cancer test and to bring to market its kidney cancer test, he explained. In the US, “we’re looking for additional sales and marketing channels," he added.

The company is also focused on China and Russia for the lung cancer diagnostics due to the high smoking populations, Cohen noted; it is in active discussions with potential distributors or partners in those countries, he added.

Currently the company has an internal, four-person sales force. Overseas sales will be pursued through external marketing partnerships, with a focus on China and Russia, he added.

20/20 Genesystems is not interested in European marketing, he added.

The company started to market its blood-based lung cancer diagnostic in the US, starting with Washington DC, and physician adoption has grown to over two dozen medical practices in the US to date, he noted. "We recently launched a blood test for the early detection of lung cancer, which is being sold to primary care doctors as a test for heavy smokers who are asymptomatic," he said.

The lung cancer test is reimbursed at USD 150. Results usually take a few days, he said. To date, 20/20 is the only company marketing a combined protein and auto-antibody biomarker test for the early detection of lung cancer, according to a company presentation.

Next year, the company is hoping to launch a test for renal cell carcinoma that is used to select targeted therapies for patients, Cohen said.

20/20 has received USD 8m in equity financing since its inception in 2001, and USD 7m in government grants and contracts. Its annual product revenue is USD 0.5m, according to a recent company presentation.

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