Beacon Biomedical, Inc., a privately held company focused on developing patient friendly cancer screening tests was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I Grant by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The grant will be used to verify published literature and move the company’s colorectal cancer screening test to a point of care solution that doctors can use right in their offices.
Don Weber, Beacon Biomedical’s CEO commented that, “Current colorectal screening tests are extremely effective, but only when patients use them. The problem is that 30 million US patient don’t get screened because they find invasive tests, like colonoscopies, or fecal based tests, like fecal immunochemical tests or Exact Sciences’ Cologuard, painful, disgusting, embarrassing, or just inconvenient. Our singular focus is providing those patients alternatives that are easy, accurate and affordable as a means to increase their screening participation. This NIH grant brings us one step closer to achieving that goal and one step closer to saving lives.”
Colorectal Cancer and Early Detection
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in U.S. with 132,000 new cases and nearly 50,000 deaths expected in 2015.
Randy Grimes, Beacon Biomedical’s COO added, “We are developing a highly accurate and affordable test that uses a single finger prick of blood to detect the presence of undiagnosed colorectal cancer in less than 10-minutes. Our test is being designed from the outset to be accessible to all in order to improve cancer screening compliance, detect cancer and per-cancerous polyps early and, in turn, save more lives.”
According to Grimes, this also means paying attention to the populations that need that need new tests the most. In the U.S., African Americans men and women experience a disproportionate high colorectal mortality rate due to a combination of their higher incidence, lower screening participation, and more aggressive tumors, compared to other ethnicities. As such, increasing screening rates in this population is a particular point of focus for the company and their efforts with NIBIB.
Beacon Biomedical, Inc. is a privately held assay development and medical device company focused on developing and commercializing easy, accurate and affordable colorectal, breast and lung cancer screening solutions. Beacon has secured the exclusive worldwide rights from the NIH for the detection and quantification of a signaling protein called Cripto-1 (also known as teratocarcinoma derived growth factor-1) that has demonstrated the ability in multiple independent studies to differentiate colorectal cancer (CRC) from healthy controls at 100% sensitivity and 95% specificity in blood-based samples. Additional information about Beacon Biomedical is available at www.beaconbiomedical.com.