Menssana Research Wins NIH Award for Rapid Point-of-Care Breath Test for Breast Cancer

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The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2 million grant to Menssana Research to evaluate a rapid point-of-care breath test for breast cancer.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2 million grant to Menssana Research to evaluate a rapid point-of-care breath test for breast cancer.

The BreathLink test analyzes breath for chemical biomarkers of breast cancer in six minutes. 2,000 women at risk of breast cancer will have their breath analyzed with BreathLink to determine if breath testing combined with a mammogram is more accurate than a mammogram alone.

Breast imaging with film and digital mammography are the standard tools for breast cancer screening but a false-positive test result can lead to over-diagnosis and further testing with repeat mammograms and breast biopsy. Researchers will determine if an added BreathLink breath test can help reduce the risk of a false-positive mammogram result, and so reduce the amount of needless follow-up testing.

Women will be studied at five medical centers: University of Southern California in Los Angeles, University of Texas MD Anderson Medical center in Houston, Seattle Swedish Medical Center, and Hackensack UMC/Mountainside and Saint Michael’s Newark, both in New Jersey.

Dr. Michael Phillips, developer of the BreathLink test and CEO of Menssana Research, Inc. said, “There’s a lot of room for improvement in breast cancer screening. Many women find mammograms uncomfortable and they are concerned about radiation exposure. That’s why our research team at Menssana has worked hard for years to develop a breath test for breast cancer. We’ve also found breath biomarkers for other diseases such as lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis and influenza. Breath tests offer great advantages - they are painless, safe, and inexpensive. If given the choice, most people would prefer a breath test to being stuck with a needle. In coming years, physicians and patients may think of a breath test as a convenient way to screen for several diseases while they are still in their earliest and most treatable stages.”

The Breath Research Laboratory of Menssana Research is based in the Enterprise Development Center of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. The BreathLink test for breast cancer has European Regulatory approval (CE Mark) in the European Union. Menssana Research plans to submit its Lungscreen breath test for lung cancer to the Food & Drug Administration for approval in 2016. FDA previously awarded Humanitarian Device Exemption to Menssana’s Heartsbreath test for heart transplant rejection.

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Michael Phillips
Menssana Research Inc.
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