Healthcare Industry News:  colonoscopy 

Diagnostics Oncology

 News Release - April 27, 2006

Chondrogene partners with Kaiser Permanente

ColonSentry(TM) To Be Tested In Clinical Study

TORONTO, April 27 (HSMN NewsFeed) - ChondroGene Limited (TSX Venture: CDG ) reported today that it will partner with Kaiser Permanente of Northern California to conduct a prospective clinical study to evaluate and optimize ChondroGene's ColonSentry(TM) blood-based colon cancer test on selected patient groups. The study will compare the results of the ColonSentry test to colonoscopy findings in a study group of 600 patients from at risk and confirmed cancer populations.

The results of the study will be used to advance the development of the ColonSentry test, provide additional supporting pre-clinical data and allow Kaiser Permanent to evaluate the test in a patient population.

"A blood-based test for colon cancer screening that is sensitive, specific and cost-effective would represent an important addition to the way we now perform colon cancer screening," stated Dr. T. R. Levin, Director of Colorectal Cancer Screening for the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. "A major problem with current screening programs is lack of patient compliance. Compared to current stool-based or endoscopic-based screening approaches, a blood-based test would be more convenient and would likely enhance patient compliance."

The ColonSentry test will be ChondroGene's first commercial diagnostic application of the Sentinel Principle(TM). In the US, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men and the third leading cause of cancer deaths for women and has a very poor prognosis if it is diagnosed after the cancer has spread outside the colon. If detected early, however, colon cancer is usually curable. Additionally, detecting and removing pre-cancerous polyps may help prevent cancer from developing. Current screening tests are generally invasive, expensive, inconvenient for patients or not readily available. As a result, the vast majority of patients in the developed world are not adequately screened.

"Kaiser Permanente has long been recognized as a leader in colorectal cancer screening," stated K. Wayne Marshall, MD, PhD, President and CEO of ChondroGene. "In this context, we are particularly pleased to be working with Kaiser Permanente on applying our Sentinel Principle technology to the development and implementation of a blood-based test to identify patients with colon cancer and pre-cancerous polyps. The impact on reducing morbidity and mortality from colorectal cancer, not to mention saving important associated health care dollars will be significant and represents a key mission of ChondroGene."

About Colon Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006, there will be 148,610 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in the U.S. Of the total number of new cases of colorectal cancer, it is estimated that 41,930 will be diagnosed as rectal cancer (23,580 men and 18,350 women) and 106,680 will be colon cancer (49,220 men and 57,460 women). The total population of colorectal cancer patients is over 1 million. Patients over age 50 are advised to have regular colorectal cancer screening. It is estimated that there are approximately 80 million people in the U.S. over the age of 50, who require regular screening.

About the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a not-for-profit, group practice prepayment program with headquarters in Oakland, California. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of 8.3 million members in 9 states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses the not-for-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the Permanente Medical Groups.

Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 160,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 11,500 physicians representing all specialties. For more information, go to or contact: Kevin McCormack Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, 510-891-3173,

About ChondroGene

ChondroGene is focussed on the application of functional genomics to enable early diagnosis and personalized therapeutic intervention based on disease-specific biomarkers. The Company has developed a novel approach, the Sentinel Principle, to detect and stage virtually any disease or medical condition from a simple blood sample. ChondroGene is currently applying the Sentinel Principle in major areas with unmet clinical needs such as cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders. For more information on ChondroGene, visit

This press release contains forward-looking statements which reflect the Company's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein. Investors should consult the Company's ongoing quarterly filings and annual reports for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Source: ChondroGene

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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