Swiss molecular diagnostics firm Novigenix has acquired Colox, a new molecular blood test to detect colorectal cancer and precancerous lesions (adenomatous polyps).

The new molecular blood test was approved for sale in Europe, and launched commercially in Switzerland. Through partnerships, the company intends to increase the availability of Colox in Switzerland and Europe.

Novigenix executive chairman Brian Hashemi said: "Our vision is to support physicians and the healthcare community in significantly reducing cancer mortality through the early diagnosis and intervention of colorectal cancer.

"We are committed to making Colox available to physicians and patients across Switzerland, followed by expansion in other European countries.

"The new molecular blood test was approved for sale in Europe, and launched commercially in Switzerland."

"Colorectal cancer is today the third most lethal cancer, but can be largely prevented if detected early by an accurate, reliable, and convenient test such as Colox."

Colox was examined in a multi-centre clinical trial in Switzerland led by Dr Gian Dorta, in the Internal Medicine Department, at the Service of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne (CHUV).

Dr Dorta said: "Colox accurately and reliably detects both adenomatous polyps and early stages of colorectal cancer with a convenient blood test that can be ordered as part of a routine medical checkup.

"As a result Colox has the potential to dramatically increase screening compliance and reduce the mortality rate from this deadly disease."

Originally developed by Diagnoplex, Colox represents a new generation of cancer diagnostic tests based on the response of the organism against the tumour.

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are particularly responsive to growing adenomatous polyps and colorectal carcinomas, and determining the expression of 29 genes in PBMCs provides a sign of the early stages of colorectal cancer.