MONCTON, NB – April 24, 2013 – Picomole Inc. (“Picomole”), the world leader in infrared technologies for breath analysis, announced today that it has developed a diagnostic test to detect lung cancer that has a preliminary accuracy of 98.5%. This best-in-class result is better than any other technique currently in use for the detection of lung cancer.
The Picomole breath test for lung cancer is based on the quantitative analysis of a small set of trace chemicals found in exhaled breath samples. The breath samples were analyzed using LISATM (Laser Infrared Sample Analysis), a new analytical method recently patented by Picomole scientists. The pilot study of 40 clinical samples included healthy controls as well as patients diagnosed with other pulmonary diseases. The results indicated the Picomole breath test had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 97% in the detection of lung cancer.
“The results of the pilot study are very promising. From a clinical point of view, the breath test is a fast and non-invasive method to detect disease-specific metabolomic abnormalities,” says Picomole founder Dr. John Cormier, PhD, who will present the results of the pilot study at an upcoming conference. “The chemicals in the Picomole breath test include novel biomarkers that were not previously identified in any lung cancer study, demonstrating the power of our infrared technology.”
“A rapid and non-invasive test for the early detection of lung cancer such as the breath test being developed by Picomole could have a tremendous effect on decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with lung cancer,” says Dr. Ali Mahtabifard, MD, an expert in minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “The clinical significance of such a test cannot be overstated.”
“Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread too far to be cured. Current technologies used in the detection of lung cancer are inadequate for mass screening applications. As a result, lung cancers exact a staggering toll, killing roughly 1.4 million people each year worldwide,” says Michael Tripp, Picomole Vice-President of Corporate Development. “In the foreseeable future, a Picomole breath test could become an important tool in the fight against lung cancer, one that is safe, low-cost, and does not expose patients to radiation.” Picomole is currently implementing several targeted improvements to its methodology, and an expanded clinical study will be announced soon.
The company would like to acknowledge the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) for its longstanding support and technical advice.
Picomole is an award-winning Canadian company focused on the commercialization of its patented technology for the rapid analysis of exhaled breath, specifically in the application of the diagnosis of cancer. Breath analysis has the potential to impact health care on a global scale, as breath tests for life-threatening diseases would be fast, painless, non-invasive, and cost effective. Picomole’s technology permits easy sample analysis of hundreds of volatile compounds found in breath at parts-per-billion levels and below within minutes. Picomole believes that its proprietary breath analysis system has technological capabilities that are unparalleled globally and possesses the greatest potential of current breath analysis technologies throughout the world for clinical application as an easy-to-use, portable device.
For detailed information on Picomole Inc., please visit our website at www.picomole.com.