Orion Genomics Announces The Discovery And Validation Of Novel Breast Cancer Biomarkers  
12/19/2006 10:18:17 AM

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Orion Genomics announced today that the company has identified and validated a suite of novel breast cancer biomarkers, the most promising of which will be incorporated into the company's diagnostic assays for the early detection of breast cancer and the detection of breast cancer recurrence. Using proprietary genome-wide microarray technology, the company was able to quickly identify a suite of novel biomarkers in a panel consisting of normal and cancerous breast tissues. In a second independent biomarker validation panel of more than 200 normal and cancerous breast tissues, over 50 biomarkers demonstrated significant diagnostic potential, the most promising of which presented 90 percent sensitivity and 96 percent specificity. The results of Orion's genome-wide, DNA methylation profiling were presented at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 14, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas.

"Utilizing MethylScope(R), our genome-wide DNA methylation profiling technology, we were able to quickly identify a suite of promising breast cancer biomarkers that show significantly high sensitivity and specificity and represent the most comprehensive and clinically accurate breast cancer epigenetic biomarkers discovered to date," said Jorge A. Leon, Ph.D., Orion's acting Chief Scientific Officer. "We are now validating our most promising biomarkers in blood serum from cancer-free and breast cancer patients."

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 211,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected in the U.S. in 2006 alone, where approximately 40,000 patients are expected to die of their disease. Early detection and treatment when the tumor is still small remains a key factor in survival; however, early stage breast cancer typically produces no noticeable symptoms, making early detection through conventional methods challenging.

"Identifying cancer earlier in the disease progression timeline will significantly improve treatment outcomes and patient survival, especially in breast cancer," said Nathan Lakey, Chief Executive Officer and president of Orion Genomics. "Our identification and validation of sensitive and specific biomarkers for the detection of breast cancer will form the foundation of our breast cancer diagnostic assays. These assays will provide a diagnostic screening test, from blood or other easily collected samples, of a large population for the early or recurrent signs of breast cancer."

About Orion Genomics

Orion Genomics, the Second Code biotechnology company, develops molecular diagnostic products to detect cancer at its earliest stages and to aid in appropriate therapy selection. Orion's most advanced diagnostic program is in breast cancer, where the company is developing a highly sensitive and selective early screening test, followed by additional epigenetic screening assays in lung, ovarian and colon cancers. Orion Genomics is located in the Center for Emerging Technologies in St. Louis. For more information, visit

Orion Genomics

CONTACT: Amy Blackley, Ph.D., of Porter Novelli Life Sciences,+1-619-849-6008,, for Orion Genomics