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THE INVESTOR

Bio & Medicine

Panagene launches liquid biopsy test tool, eyes US market

  • PUBLISHED :November 08, 2017 - 16:47
  • UPDATED :November 08, 2017 - 16:47
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[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s biotech company Panagene said on Nov. 8 it will accelerate its push into the US market with its recently launched blood test tool that detects cancer and determines whether lung cancer patients are likely to respond to drugs.

The Daejeon-based company’s liquid biopsy lung cancer diagnosis tool called PANAMutyper R EGFR, introduced in October here, enables the detection of as little as 0.1 percent mutant allele, seeking to replace painful tumor tissue extract test.

 
Panagene CEO Kim Sung-kee


“Our global business expansion will go into full swing by filing PANAMutyper with the US Food and Drug Administration in the near future,” Panagene CEO Kim Sung-kee told reporters during a press conference held in Seoul.

The new product launch puts Panagene in a position to compete with Swiss drug maker Roche, which had won the first FDA approval for a liquid biopsy test -- cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2 -- as an aid in clinical decisions in 2016.

“I am proud to have developed and launched a product that can stand side by side with the products of Roche, a global company with homegrown technology,” Kim said.

Cancers can evolve resistance to drugs over time, so the team of scientists set about looking for evidence in the fragments of tumor DNA that float in the blood stream.

According to BBC Research, the global liquid biopsies market for cancer is estimated to reach US$1.9 billion by 2020 from US$400 million in 2015.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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