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Cancer Diagnostics Company Raises $12.3M in IPO

New York Stock Exchange

(A. Kotok)

18 March 2016. VolitionRx, a developer of blood tests that screen for cancer and other disorders, is raising some $12.3 million in its initial public stock offering. The Namur, Belgium company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VNRX, issued about 3.8 million shares of common stock priced at $3.25.

VolitionRx designs blood tests for a wide range of cancers that it aims to make as simple and easy as tests today for diabetes and high cholesterol. The company’s technology, known as nucleosomics, detects fragments of chromosomes, known as nucleosomes, that circulate in the blood. Each fragment contains a strand of DNA wrapped around eight histones, protein molecules released into the blood as a result of cell death. When mutations form in the DNA, nucleosomes change as well, which affect the underlying histone proteins.

Changes in nucleosomes, says VolitionRx, are unique for each disease condition, which makes it possible to identify the disease by a biomarker or indicator when that nucleosome change occurs. The company’s technology looks for those indicators in antibodies in blood and other fluid samples that bind to histones and appear when nucleosomes change.

While VolitionRx focused initially on cancer screening, it’s applying the technology to detecting other diseases. Earlier in March, VolitionRx released early results of a clinical trial testing nucleosomics to diagnose idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a condition where lung tissue becomes thick and scarred, restricting the flow oxygen to the blood stream, which leads to respiratory failure and death. The trial tested the company’s technology with Belgian patients already diagnosed with the disease, but not yet treated, and a similar group of healthy volunteers.

The study showed VolitionRx’s blood test identified 86 percent of the 21 individuals with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, with only 6 false positives among the 30 healthy volunteers. The best conventional tests to detect the disorder use high resolution computed tomography, an expensive scanning technique requiring specialized equipment and highly trained staff.

As reported in Science & Enterprise in October 2015, VolitionRx blood tests successfully identified 84 percent of pancreatic cancer in patients with the disease, from five nucleosome biomarkers. When adding a standard cancer diagnostic antigen, the number rose to 92 percent.

As of 3:30 pm today (18 March), VolitionRx shares were priced at $3.64, an increase of 12 percent. The S&P 500 stock index was up 0.44 percent for the day at the same time.

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