In this issue...RDA article published in peer reviewed journal, a study in a new indication, UK health economic update and more…


Summer 2015

RDA™ recognized as novel approach in response-guided therapy for breast cancer

A peer reviewed article, published this month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs, concludes RDA is a novel intermediate endpoint with promise for clinical utility for breast cancers early in response-guided primary systemic therapy.

The article, RNA Disruption and Drug Response in Breast Cancer Primary Systemic Therapy, recognizes chemotherapy drugs have recently been shown to induce a decrease in RNA quality in tumor cells from breast cancer biopsies in some patients and that this has been associated with subsequent achievement of pathological complete response (pCR). The objectives of the study were to show that the new assay based on induction of RNA disruption in tumor cells by chemotherapy can stratify at midtherapy, pCR responders from non-pCRresponders and to present early evidence that clinically useful RNA disruption can be detected as early as 14 days after initiation of treatment.
"The article clearly describes the concept of how RNA disruption compromises cancer cells and how the assessment of RNA disruption in tumour cells by RDA can detect whether chemo is working or not. This article, along with ongoing clinical trials, contributes to establishing RDA as a credible diagnostic tool in the scientific breast cancer community,” said Dr. Ken Pritzker, President and CEO of Rna Diagnostics.

RDA to be utilized in Head and Neck study

A new study will utilize RDA in a new indication, assessing response to chemoradiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. This study will be led by Dr. Andrew Pearce, Chief of Oncology, Northeast Cancer Centre of Health Sciences North in Sudbury.

If successful, this trial could significantly decrease the long-term morbidity of chemoradiotherapy for head and neck cancer, producing significant improvements in quality of life.
“Head and neck cancer treatment side effects can be devastating to patients so assessment of treatment efficacy with RDA could impact patient outcomes and quality of life significantly,” said Dr. Amadeo Parissenti, Chief Scientific Officer of Rna Diagnostics. “We expect that RDA will provide critical information to clinicians to help guide treatment decisions as it does in breast cancer.”
Patients will be enrolled from the head and neck cancer clinic of the Northeast Cancer Centre of Health Sciences North, Sudbury, Ontario.  The team for this study includes Dr. Andrew Pearce, Dr. Andrew Chiang, Dr. Amadeo Parissenti, Peggy Meigs and Dr. Michael Conlon.
Funding for the study is provided by the Northern Ontario Academic Medicine Association Clinical Innovation Fund.

UK Health Economic Study shows RDA good value for money

A UK Health Economic study shows RDA is both more effective and that the incremental benefit represents good value for money. The study also showed that RDA is cost-effective at commonly reported willingness to pay thresholds and led to lifetime incremental quality-adjusted life-years and incremental costs over the next best alternative.

The objective of the UK study was to estimate the economic benefit of RDA for use in response-guided management of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in women with early/locally advanced breast cancer vs. MRI, ultrasound and physical examination.

“We know that in addition to providing clinical data, it is important to show the value of RDA to healthcare systems. This UK study adds to the growing body of evidence of the value of RDA to healthcare payers worldwide,” said John Connolly, VP Corporate Development of Rna Diagnostics.

Funding for the UK Health Economic study was provided by the MaRS Embark Funding program.

Professional Events 

Clinician Awareness and Interest high at LABCNC 2015
Clinicians had significantly more awareness, acceptance and interest in RDA this year at the Local Advanced Breast Cancer National Consensus in Ontario in May, 2015.

Dr. Boileau, Dr. Parissenti and Dr. Trudeau provided updates on clinical trials and ongoing lab results to attendees generating discussions for further opportunities and collaborations.

Management Team

Ken Pritzker, MD, FRCPC
President & CEO

Amadeo Parissenti, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

John Connolly, MBA
VP Corporate Development

John Jordan, MBA, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial Officer

Laura Pritzker, PhD
Principal Scientist

Clinical Advisory Board

Maureen E. Trudeau, MA, MD, FRCPC, Toronto, Canada

Gunter von Minckwitz, MD, PhD, Frankfurt, Germany

Michael Untch, MD, PhD, Berlin, Germany

Harry D. Bear, MD, PhD, Richmond, VA, USA

         Dr. Andrew Pearce

Rna Diagnostics Inc. is a Canadian molecular diagnostics company developing diagnostic tools to improve chemotherapy management.

Our mailing address is:
Rna Diagnostics Inc.
MaRS Centre, Heritage Building, 101 College Street, Suite HL20-4, Toronto, ON, Canada
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7

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For more information contact:
John Connolly
VP Corporate Development