Berlin (Germany) and San Diego, CA (U.S.A.), October 2, 2018 – Epigenomics AG (Frankfurt Prime Standard: ECX, OTCQX: EPGNY) today announced that the U.S. Congress urges the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider coverage of colorectal cancer screening blood tests as part of the approved 2019 Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Bill.
According to the Appropriations report issued in concert with the Appropriations Bill signed into law on September 28, 2018 the U.S. Congress stated its intent by urging CMS to provide “…coverage of blood tests…(which) could serve to deter or immediately recommend the need for colonoscopy so as to increase the number of patients that go in for testing and decrease the amount of late-stage colon cancer diagnoses.”
“We are very pleased that the U.S. Congress has urged CMS to cover FDA approved blood tests for colorectal cancer screening. We believe this is a positive step towards legislative approval,” said Greg Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer of Epigenomics AG. “Colorectal cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States as still 1 in 3 or approximately 30 million Americans are not screened. CMS coverage of blood tests could help to increase screening participation rates and ultimately save lives.”
In March 2018, Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R -WV) and Martin Heinrich (D – NM) introduced the “Colorectal Cancer Detection Act of 2018” to the United States Senate in Washington D.C. This Senate Bill (S. 2523) is parallel to House Bill (H.R. 1578) “Donald Payne Sr. Colorectal Cancer Detection Act” introduced by Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D – NJ) in 2017. These bipartisan initiatives aim to provide payment and coverage under the Medicare program for FDA-approved qualifying colorectal cancer screening blood tests.
About colorectal cancer (CRC)
The American Cancer Society projects there will be over 140,000 new diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer, and over 50,000 deaths, from colorectal cancer in 2018 in the United States. Colorectal cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Although screening and early detection of colorectal cancer can save lives, about 35 percent of eligible U.S. patients are not being regularly screened. While the 5-year survival rate for early colorectal cancer (stage I) is 90%, only four- out-of-ten cases are diagnosed at this early stage. According to the American Cancer Society, this is in part due to the underuse of screening.
About Epi proColon®
Epi proColon is indicated for colorectal cancer screening in average-risk patients who are unwilling or unable to perform colorectal cancer screening by colonoscopy and stool-based methods.
For patients, the test only requires a simple blood sample drawn as part of routine healthcare provider visits. There are no dietary restrictions or alterations in medication required for the test. The sample will be analyzed at a national or regional diagnostic laboratory.
For more information on Epi proColon, visit www.epiprocolon.com.
Epigenomics is a molecular diagnostics company focused on blood-based detection of cancers using its proprietary DNA methylation biomarker technology. The company develops and commercializes diagnostic products across multiple cancer indications with high medical need. Epigenomics’ lead product, Epi proColon, is a blood-based screening test for the detection of colorectal cancer. Epi proColon has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is currently marketed in the United States, Europe, and China and selected other countries. Epi proLung®, a blood-based test for lung cancer detection, has received CE mark in Europe.
For more information, visit www.epigenomics.com.
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