Source BioScience NHS approval for automated cervical cancer screening technology

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Source BioScience (LSE: SBS), the international diagnostics and genetic analysis business, is pleased to announce that the National Health Service Cancer Screening Programmes (“NHSCSP”) has approved the use of the BD FocalPoint “No Further Review” technology for cervical cancer screening in the UK. This is the only automated cervical screening technology which has been approved.

The “No Further Review” technology can analyse and identify up to 25% of screening samples that can be reported as “all clear”, requiring no human examination. With over 3.6 million tests being undertaken across England and Wales during 2009/10, this represents a significant reduction in laboratory workload, eliminating the need to employ costly, temporary locum staff.

NHSCSP, the governing body for cancer screening in the UK, informed NHS laboratories of the decision to approve BD FocalPoint “No Further Review” following recommendations from the Health Technology Assessment “MAVARIC” trial, which was published in March 2011.The trial demonstrated the clinical performance of the system compared with manual screening and its compatibility with the planned introduction of HPV testing into the UK cervical cancer screening programme during September 2011.

Dr Mina Desai, CBE, Head of Cytopathology Services at Manchester Royal Infirmary said “As one of the lead investigators of the MAVARIC study, I am pleased that the “No Further Review” category has been approved. The clinical data from the study supports the decisions to implement it within the screening programme and will assist the laboratories in meeting the demands of the 14 day turnaround time.”

Dr Nick Ash, Chief Executive of Source BioScience commented “We believe BD FocalPoint is a huge step forward for cervical cancer screening progression in the UK. “No Further Review” is a unique function of the BD FocalPoint system and it is the only automated system of its kind approved and available in the UK. Source BioScience will now be able to provide a complete solution for cervical cancer screening from sample collection, processing, imaging and diagnostic testing, including HPV testing.”