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Lab creating early detection tool for ovarian cancer opens in Denver

Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 08:29:18-04

DENVER – A company that is creating the first early detection tool for ovarian cancer recently opened a lab in Denver.

AOA DX is currently conducting clinical studies for an early detection tool that uses blood samples to potentially identify biomarkers for ovarian cancer tumors with more than 90% accuracy.

"We raised a great round of capital last fall, which really allowed us to expedite our growth. And as part of that growth, we opened a lab here in Denver. And this lab now employs scientists that are developing this technology," said Oriana Papin-Zoghbi, co-founder and the CEO of AOA DX. "It's hugely important because generally diagnostics for conditions that predominantly affect women, or only affect women, have not really been developed in our lifetime."

Papin-Zoghbi said that is due to lack of investment into the research.

“This stems all the way from government funding and grant funding that are specifically for women's diseases, all the way to venture capital or other types of funding. If we look at the ecosystem, overall, less than 2% of all funding goes to diseases that affect women or predominantly affect women, which means that all of these problems don't have the right resources to find the solutions for them,” Papin-Zoghbi said.

Ingrid Kolstoe waited years for her ovarian cancer to be properly diagnosed.

“My diagnosis actually was a missed diagnosis,” Kolstoe said. “I'm an ovarian cancer patient who is a stage four terminal ovarian cancer. And I did not have any diagnostic test like what they are trying to create.”

Kolstoe said this test could be life-changing for the next generation.

“I am hoping that something like this will be created so that my daughters won't have to experience this in the event that they too had symptoms of ovarian cancer,” Kolstoe said.

Papin-Zoghbi said she is proud of the work AOA DX is doing and looks forward to continuing crucial research in Denver.

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