Atossa revs up national sales rollout for handheld breast cancer Dx

Atossa Genetics ($ATOS) launched just in 2009 and remains pretty small. But the fledgling Seattle company, which finally went public in November, is taking some big steps to make sure its handheld diagnostic device to pinpoint very early breast cancer signs reaches a national audience.

As the Puget Sound Business Journal reports, Atossa is now focused on training as many as 5,000 independent sales representatives to market its ForeCYTE Breast Health Test, which is currently used by about 35 doctors nationally. Once their training is complete later this year, that sales force will market the test to about 33,000 OBGYN doctors around the country.

These efforts are possible thanks to the company's November public offering, which raised about $4 million in stock, the article notes, down from the $6 million disclosed in its initial February 2012 filing that it was seeking to raise.

ForeCYTE is designed to find both pre-cancerous cells and cancer--something that could be a valuable tool in leading to far earlier diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, it gauges the 10-year and lifetime risk of breast cancer for women aged 18 to 65. It consists of a breast pump that aspirates fluid quickly and noninvasively, and Atossa's lab handles diagnostic processing.

Separately, the company is developing microcatheter technology designed to deliver targeted treatments into milk ducts to address precancerous lesions.

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