Graphic Evidence: Genetic Technologies Soars on Cancer Test News
by Paul Springer
Australia-based Genetic Technologies Ltd. (GENE) advanced a step closer to marketing a genetic breast cancer test, and investors immediately drove the company’s stock up 85% at midday, when the stock was trading around $5.85.
At one point it went as high as $6.95.
While biotech stocks sometimes leap on news of an inscrutably technical nature, the potential value of the company’s BREVAgen test is abundantly clear.
“The test will help many women by better determining their individual breast cancer risk, and it will help health professionals better determine optimum treatment decisions,” CEO Paul MacLeman said in a news statement.
In the U.S. alone, close to 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. The National Breast Cancer Foundation says 40,000 women die from breast cancer every year.
Analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can provide some information on prospects of developing breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. But this testing is only viable with about 10% of the population.
Genetic Technologies says BREVAgen will provide guidance to the other 90%.
The company has been developing the test for some time. But markets rose on news that certification of its Australian laboratory has been received under the U.S. Clinical Laboratories Improvements Amendments.
While the product is not being hailed as a cure for cancer, it could provide crucial information for vast numbers of people – including men – who could be afflicted with breast cancer.
The company says it expects the test to be available to U.S. doctors and their patients in a few weeks, while distribution in Europe and Asia still awaits regulatory approval.
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