PetDx® – The Liquid Biopsy Company for Pets™, a company dedicated to unleashing the power of genomics to improve pet health, announced today the launch of OncoK9™, a first-in-class multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test that enables veterinarians to achieve earlier detection of cancer in dogs with a simple blood draw.
Founded in 2019 in San Diego, PetDx develops noninvasive cancer testing solutions that incorporate many of the latest advances from the human liquid biopsy space and provide support to veterinarians at multiple decision points across the entire continuum of cancer care. The company's first product, OncoK9, employs cutting-edge genomic analysis that leverages next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and proprietary bioinformatics algorithms to offer new cancer-detection capabilities that empower veterinarians to provide superior care to canine patients. OncoK9 will be available to pets and their families at Petco's full-service veterinary hospitals in select locations in May, and at veterinary clinics across the country starting in Summer 2021.
"Our team at PetDx is thrilled to bring the latest scientific advances from human cancer genomics to the animal health arena. We have deployed significant efforts over the past two years in developing and validating OncoK9 to address a massive unmet need in the veterinary space," said Daniel Grosu, MD, MBA, Founder and CEO of PetDx.
Cancer is by far the leading cause of death in dogs, and 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made each year in a population of approximately 90 million pet dogs in the United States; by comparison, there are less than 2 million new cancer diagnoses per year in over 330 million people in the US. There are currently no established cancer screening programs for dogs, and the diagnostic and follow-up processes are often complicated or delayed by the risks and costs of invasive procedures, and by limited access to specialized care. Furthermore, the majority of cancers are diagnosed only when dogs start to show clinical signs of their disease, by which point the cancer is often advanced and the chances of achieving a cure or long-term control are low.
PetDx has conducted what it believes to be the largest-ever clinical research program in veterinary cancer diagnostics, with blood samples collected prospectively from over 1,600 client-owned dogs, with and without a diagnosis of cancer, across more than 50 clinical sites on 4 continents. Nearly 600 of these subjects were included in the CANDiD (CANcer Detection in Dogs) Study for clinical validation of the OncoK9 test, which demonstrated clinically actionable performance with robust detection rates and very low false positives comparable with state-of-the-art multi-cancer early detection tests for humans. Results of the CANDiD Study will be submitted for publication in a leading peer-reviewed journal.
OncoK9 – The Liquid Biopsy Test for Dogs™ relies on a routine blood draw using a provided kit. It does not require prior fasting or any sample processing in the clinic. The blood sample is shipped overnight at ambient temperature to the PetDx laboratory in San Diego, where it undergoes processing using proprietary methods optimized for canine cell-free DNA analysis. An easy-to-interpret digital report is then issued to the ordering veterinarian, indicating whether or not a cancer signal has been detected.
The test is recommended as an annual screening test for dogs at higher risk for developing cancer based on age and/or breed predisposition; and as an aid in diagnosis for dogs suspected of cancer based on clinical signs or other clinical findings.
"In the future, we envision offering the test for additional use cases, including minimal residual disease detection, recurrence and treatment response monitoring, and targeted treatment selection, greatly expanding the veterinarian's toolbox for the management of cancer in dogs," said Andi Flory, DVM, DACVIM, Chief Medical Officer of PetDx and board-certified veterinary oncologist.