Oncimmune LLC. (Oncimmune) is a company you may want to know about. I recently interviewed Dan Calvo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oncimmune, about their EarlyCDT-Lung blood test that aids in risk assessment and early detection of cancer. It currently is in use around the United States.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Mr. Calvo. So, how did Oncimmune get started?
Oncimmune, LTD began in 2003 in the United Kingdom. Professor John Robertson, a professor of surgery at the University of Nottingham, pioneered the now patented process of testing blood for a panel of autoantibodies specific to the detection of cancer. Oncimmune, LLC started here in Kansas in 2006. The goal in bringing the business to market from its beginnings in the United Kingdom included ensuring their program could be scaled from the lab to a commercial operation handling more patient samples reproducibly.
Oncimmune just launched EarlyCDT-Lung nationally in June of this year, and has experienced regional growth 'getting the word out,' followed by more national growth following their participation in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference held last June in Chicago. We just returned from a successful participation in the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST 2010) conference in Vancouver, BC, where we presented two oral presentations and five scientific posters.
Why is the company based in the Kansas City-area?
At the time that the company was looking for a place in the United States to open shop, then Governor Kathleen Sebellius (now heading up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) was very pro-biotech; we received financial support from the Kansas Bioscience Authority. The company also enjoyed a good relationship with the University of Kansas, and received cooperation from IBT Laboratories, and its founder John Halsey.
So how does your EarlyCDT-Lung blood test work?
Close to 500 participant doctors currently use our EarlyCDT-Lung test to assess cancer risk for their high-risk patients, and as a strategy of assessing malignancy for patients with lung nodules.