updated 11/14/2010 2:45:24 PM ET 2010-11-14T19:45:24

VEDBAEK, Denmark, Nov. 14, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exiqon A/S (Copenhagen:EXQ) today published data from a clinical study that stratifies colon cancer patients into groups of high, medium and low chances of survival which may prove useful for optimizing the treatment of each individual cancer patient.

Exiqon has analyzed 130 stage II colon cancer patients for the expression of microRNA-21 in the tumor tissue. The study was based on in situ hybridization enabled by Exiqon's proprietary LNA™ detection technology.

The study demonstrated that among the 33% of the patients with the highest microRNA-21 levels, only 73% survived two years after surgery, whereas the same rate was 98% among the 33% of the patients with the lowest microRNA-21 levels. For the medium group, 86% survived two years after surgery.

Data from the study suggests that it may be possible to clinically stratify colon cancer patients. This would potentially allow for optimization of the individual patient's treatment on the basis of an analysis of each patient's risk profile. Oncologist may want to offer adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery to high-risk group of patients in stage II which may today not be treated with adjuvant chemotherapy irrespective of recurrence rates of up to 25% of this patient population. Today, patients diagnosed with colon cancer stage III are already commonly offered adjuvant chemotherapy treatment after surgery.

Annually, colon cancer affects about 108,000 people in the U.S. with 25% of them diagnosed as stage II. Colon cancer is currently the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. In Denmark alone, approximately 2,450 patients are diagnosed with colon cancer annually, and approximately 900 of these are diagnosed stage II patients.

On the basis of the study results, Exiqon is planning to conduct additional validation studies and conclude a partnership agreement with a diagnostic or pharmaceutical company on the final development and marketing of a (companion) diagnostic kit for stratification of stage II colon cancer patients potentially eligible for adjuvant chemotherapy.

Exiqon already markets research reagents and kits that support this type of analyses.

The paper is freely available at: http://www.springerlink.com/content/b18587r00882m050/

Additional information:

Lars Kongsbak, President and CEO, tel. +45 4566 0888 (cell: +45 4090 2101)

Hans Henrik Chrois Christensen, CFO, tel. +45 4566 0888 (cell: +45 4090 2131)

See the full release at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/10960/file/9128.pdf or at www.exiqon.com/investor/portal

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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