Business & Finance
PREEMPT CRC Trial for Blood-Based Test to Detect Colon Cancer Has Expanded to Enroll Patients from Anywhere in the Continental US During COVID-19 Pandemic
26 August 2020 - - US-based biotechnology company Freenome has expanded the access to its PREEMPT CRC registrational clinical trial to enroll patients from nearly any zip code, as part of initiatives to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, the company said.

All eligible 45- to 85-year old patients in the continental US can participate in the clinical study validating Freenome's multiomics blood test for colorectal cancer screening.

Freenome is implementing virtual tools, logistics, and communications to enroll patients nationwide in response to the dramatic decline of standard-of-care screening colonoscopies during the global pandemic.

PREEMPT CRC is Freenome's prospective clinical trial that is enrolling up to 14,000 individuals to validate the company's multiomics blood test for CRC screening to support approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The study includes asymptomatic, average-risk patients between the ages of 45 and 85 who are also undergoing a screening colonoscopy. Patients across the US can participate in the trial with their local physicians and within their local healthcare processes without having to travel to specific trial sites.

Freenome also announced a USD 270m Series C financing from a range of investors including financial institutions, healthcare companies and cancer organizations, such as the American Cancer Society and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

The funding will be used to accelerate the PREEMPT CRC clinical trial, fund the company's product pipeline, and continue building Freenome's multiomics platform for a range of cancer types, in addition to colorectal cancer.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States of cancers that affect both men and women.

Both CRC incidence and mortality have declined steadily over the past 30 years, attributable in part to the increasing percentage of adults aged 50–75 years who are up to date with recommended CRC screening.

However, only 68.8% of adults aged 50–75 years were up to date with CRC screening in 2018.

A CDC study shows that compliance varies based on income, access to health insurance and other factors, including lack of awareness of the need to be screened, being offered colonoscopy only instead of a choice of tests, fear, expense, inability to take time off work and the perceived undesirable nature of screening tests.

Freenome is a biotechnology company that has pioneered the most comprehensive multiomics platform for early cancer detection with a routine blood draw, beginning with a colorectal cancer screening test.

The company combines its deep expertise in molecular biology with advanced computational biology and machine learning techniques to recognize disease-associated patterns among billions of circulating cell-free biomarkers.

Freenome is integrating the actionable insights through a machine learning feedback loop with healthcare providers to leverage real-world data and improve patient care through early detection. Freenome is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.