Posted on 15. Jun, 2010 in News

A revolutionary early-stage ovarian cancer blood test supported by the Brumby Labor Government is set to change the lives of thousands of women in Victoria and around the world.

Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings and Health Minister Daniel Andrews today launched a new collaborative effort intended to improve the accuracy of ovarian cancer diagnosis and increase the survival chances of thousands of women each year.

The Brumby Labor Government contributed $750,000 through the Victorian Science Agenda Investment Fund to the development of the new generation OvPlex™ test which has been developed in Melbourne by HealthLinx Ltd.

“By supporting this revolutionary test the Brumby Labor Government is taking action to improve the outcomes of thousands of women diagnosed with this disease annually,” Mr Jennings said.

“Early diagnosis is a key to saving lives. Statistics show that early diagnosis of ovarian cancer can increase the five year survival rate from 20 per cent to 90 per cent when compared to late stage diagnosis.

“This means thousands of women will spend more time with their families and loved ones.”

Mr Jennings said the Government was always keen to support local innovators because the funding created business opportunities and jobs for Victorian workers.

“By funding world-class research such as that conducted by HealthLinx the Brumby Labor Government is investing in the future of Victoria and helping us lead the way with innovative medical developments such as this,” he said.

“In the past 10 years we’ve invested nearly $4 billion in innovation-related initiatives – strengthening our research capabilities in the fight against cancer.”

Mr Andrews said ovarian cancer affects at least 1400 Australian women each year and more than 800 of these will lose their battle with this disease.

“This collaborative project aims to improve the accuracy of ovarian cancer diagnosis for the OvPlex™ test from 94 per cent to 97 per cent efficiency,” Mr Andrews said.

“Current OvPlex™ technology examines five biomarkers found in a woman’s blood. The new test builds on this technology and would further test the performance of two new biomarkers. This is a very important development in the diagnosis of this disease.”

HealthLinx, an emerging biomarker and diagnostic company, is working in conjunction with Victorian-based Healthscope Pathology, Mercy Hospital for Women, Victorian Bio Bank, Brisbane-based Mater Adult Hospital, UK-based University of Liverpool and South Essex Cancer Network and the National University of Singapore in Singapore.

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