Counsyl Announces Major Oncology Expansion to Advance Genetic Screening for Cancer Risk

Counsyl launches oncology business unit, an expanded test to assess
risk for inherited forms of cancer, and tools to improve genetic
screening rates across the healthcare system

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ASCOCounsyl,
a DNA testing and genetic counseling service, today announced its
expansion into the oncology market, with a focus on advancing cancer
risk screening and helping cancer prevention efforts.

Counsyl’s launch in this market includes:

  • The creation of an oncology-focused business unit, including a
    dedicated salesforce.
    By working with oncologists, Counsyl will
    help patients and their families understand their risk of various
    inherited forms of cancer, so that they can make proactive decisions
    about treatment and preventative care.
  • Enhancements to Counsyl’s Inherited
    Cancer Screen
    . Counsyl has expanded the Inherited
    Cancer Screen to test for up to 36 genes associated with an increased
    risk of more than 10 cancer types such as breast, ovarian, pancreatic,
    colon, prostate, and melanoma. Counsyl tests are available to patients
    through their physician, both in-office and through
    the mail
    . Tests include on-demand genetic counseling and are in-network
    with most insurance providers. Results are typically delivered within
    two weeks or less.
  • FirstCare. Counsyl is piloting a web and mobile-friendly
    software tool to help physicians easily determine patient eligibility
    for genetic screening, based on factors such as family history. In a 2015
    study
    of 2,524 eligible women interviewed from the Henry Ford
    Health System, of those in the high-risk group, only 10% reported
    having undergone BRCA genetic testing and only 20% were referred for
    genetic counseling, indicating an underutilization of genetic testing
    and counseling services on the whole. Sutter
    Gould Medical Foundation
    is among the first healthcare
    organizations to pilot this tool with physicians to advance testing
    rates among eligible patients.

“In the US, it’s estimated that almost five million people have a
hereditary cancer mutation. In some cases, that means facing up to an
80% lifetime risk for cancer,” said Ramji Srinivasan, Counsyl Co-founder
and CEO. “Inherited cancer remains a considerable, unknown risk for so
many individuals and families who would benefit from this knowledge. Our
goal is to help people understand their cancer risk by expanding access
to genetic screening, providing on-demand genetic counseling, and
creating tools, like FirstCare, that benefit both physicians and their
patients.”

Inherited Cancer Screen results provided by Counsyl help physicians
identify patients who may benefit from more aggressive screening
procedures, changes in lifestyle or medication regimens, or preventative
actions such as surgery. To help inform these decisions, Counsyl
provides physician and patient access to a team of more than 40
board-certified genetic counselors.

Counsyl believes that low genetic testing rates among patients who are
eligible is, in part, due to difficulty collecting and assessing a
patient’s family history, and was inspired to develop and pilot
FirstCare, a new software tool to assist physicians.

Robert
Altman, M.D.
, Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Sutter
Gould Medical Foundation
said of this new tool, “Patients complete a
brief, comprehensive electronic assessment, allowing for more efficient
and effective identification of people at a high risk for hereditary
cancer. They can then be appropriately counseled and tested. Patients
who screen positive for hereditary cancer germline mutations can be more
closely monitored, and receive therapeutic interventions designed to
reduce their risk of developing cancer.”

Counsyl is announcing this news in advance of its exhibition at the American
Society of Clinical Oncology
(ASCO) Annual Meeting June 3-7, 2016 in
Chicago, Illinois at McCormick
Place
. Visit the Counsyl booth, #2075, June 4-6, 2016, 9:00AM –
5:00PM.

About Counsyl

Counsyl is a DNA testing and genetic counseling service. We’re committed
to helping patients understand their DNA and how it can inform important
health decisions. Whether it’s starting a family or evaluating risk for
cancer, Counsyl’s DNA tests provide patients with early awareness about
genetic conditions, so they can live informed and prepare for the
future. Counsyl has screened more than 600,000 patients and served more
than 10,000 health care professionals.

For more information, visit www.counsyl.com.

Contacts

Counsyl
Alissa Reiter, 888-268-6795
press@counsyl.com