Lynch Syndrome is an autosomal dominant mismatch repair deficiency, a disorder that increases the risk of a broad spectrum of tumors, including colorectal, ovarian, gastric, urinary, brain and bile duct cancers. It is estimated that up to 1/370 of the population have the disorder, and each year there are over 3.5 million new cancer cases related to Lynch. However, despite millions of people at severe risk of the disorder, current diagnostics tools are far from good enough, and heavily dependent on tumor studies.
The Finnish startup LS CancerDiag is determined to reduce cancer mortality, and has developed an innovative method called DiagMMR, the first functional test for diagnosis of inherited mismatch repair deficiency, including Lynch syndrome. The groundbreaking method is not only quantitative, but allow mutation carriers being diagnosed based on a non-invasive tissue sample before the person has developed a cancer, without the knowledge and details of an inherited mutation. The test is based on over 20 years of academic research at the University of Helsinki, where the development has been run by lead inventor Professor Minna Nyström.
The patented technology has several benefits compared to current options and can replace a large array of tests. It uses tissue samples before tumors appear, making it predictive instead of reactive as current tests. In addition, the quantitative nature of the test delivers results that are easy to interpret, and since the test cost less compared to others on the market, it could save healthcare costs on a global scale. LS CancerDiag is aiming to screen all newly diagnosed patients with cancers related to Lynch syndrome, as well as family members of positive cases. In addition, DiagMMR can be used in population screening programs, either in early adulthood or even at birth, to identify all the carriers of the syndrome.
Lynch syndrome associated cancer diagnostics market is valued at 35 billion USD, with an expected annual growth rate of 7.5 percent. LS CancerDiag is targeting to commercialize DiagMMR in 2017 and is expecting a wide market adaptation. The innovative non-invasive test dramatically simplify diagnostics of Lynch syndrome by delivering predictive and accurate results with a fast and cost-efficient method globally, enabling preventative care and most importantly save lives.
LS CancerDiag is one of the first 5 startups to join StartUp Health Finland. The program include direct access to ongoing coaching and mentoring in Finland and the US, market access to key US and global healthcare stakeholders, including StartUp Health’s global network of 30,000 investors, customers and experts.