CardioDx extols virtues of CAD test in new study

CardioDx's Corus CAD test--Courtesy of CardioDx

It's been a difficult year for CardioDx, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel: In a new study, researchers found that the company's genetic test for coronary artery disease could help physicians more accurately identify obstructive CAD in patients--and save insurance companies precious dollars.

The Palo Alto, CA-based company--a 2012 Fierce 15 winner--developed its Corus Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) gene expression test to determine whether symptoms of a stable, nondiabetic person are due to obstructive CAD. According to the study published Feb. 25 in Population Health Management, the test could help commercial health plans reduce costs by 9.4%, or $4.6 million for a health plan covering 500,000 adults. Corus CAD also boasts a 96% negative predictive value for ruling out disease.

The findings bode well for CardioDx, which recently experienced its fair share of disappointment: In fall 2013, the diagnostics outfit joined a flurry of companies rushing to file IPOs. The company planned on using funds to expand sales and build awareness of its Corus CAD diagnostic test, according to its regulatory filing. At an estimated offering of $86.2 million, CardioDx was poised to make a big move--but ended up abandoning ship in November, citing poor market conditions.

Studies also help the company secure much-needed funding from insurance companies. CardioDx said in an earlier statement that it generated more than $2.4 million in revenue in 2012 versus $1.5 million in revenue in 2011--a change it attributed to reimbursement issued by third-party payers including Medicare and private insurers. Although Corus CAD is covered by Medicare Part B, private payers are less likely to cough up the dough for diagnostic testing. Positive findings gain industry attention and bolster the company's reputation as a profitable diagnostics outfit.

"Corus CAD addresses the need for a highly sensitive and high-quality cost-saving diagnostic tool that can help improve both patient and health plan outcomes by increasing the accuracy of the diagnostic workup in patients suspected of having obstructive CAD," said Dr. Louis Hochheiser, lead researcher of the study. "We believe these findings illustrate the economic utility of Corus CAD for health plans seeking to integrate the benefits of precision medicine within the evolving patient-centered frameworks for increasing value in healthcare."

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