BIO-TECHNE AND HALL OF FAMER CAL RIPKEN, JR. ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO RAISE AWARENESS AND EDUCATION TO EMPOWER MEN WITH PROSTATE CANCER
MINNEAPOLIS, September 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Bio-Techne Corporation (NASDAQ:TECH) today announced that Exosome Diagnostics, a Bio-Techne brand, has established a new partnership with Hall of Famer and baseball’s all-time “Iron Man”, Cal Ripken Jr. This year marks 25 years since Ripken played in his 2,131st consecutive game, eclipsing the thought to be unbreakable record of 2,130 set by the legendary Lou Gehrig. Recently the 21-year Major League veteran divulged that earlier this year he was diagnosed with and successfully treated for prostate cancer. Today Ripken, 60, is leading a national effort with Exosome Diagnostics to build education and awareness of the ExoDx TM Prostate test, encourage men to proactively take action and be aware of their prostate health. The ExoDxTM Prostate (EPI) test played an important role in the management of Cal’s prostate cancer.
One in nine American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 191,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020 and projects that ~33,000 men will die from the disease. Currently, nearly 3.6 million American men are living with the disease – only slightly less than the population of Los Angeles.
The EPI test is a urine-based genomic test that helps inform the prostate biopsy decision. This liquid biopsy test recently received coverage for the VA Healthcare system under the General Services Administration (GSA) award, received a positive coverage decision from Medicare, and is included in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for early detection in men for both initial and repeat biopsy. It is performed by Exosome Diagnostics in its CLIA, ISO, and NY certified and CAP-accredited laboratory located in Waltham, Massachusetts. The EPI test is a risk assessment tool that assists physicians and their patients with determining if a prostate biopsy is needed when presented with an ambiguous PSA test result, thereby reducing complications from unnecessary and invasive procedures. ExoDx Prostate is now available with an At-Home Collection kit, enabling patients unable to see a healthcare professional or preferring to collect their sample at-home access to the test.
Cal Ripken Jr. and Exosome Diagnostics will launch the newly formed partnership during the month of September, which is notably Prostate Cancer Awareness month, by speaking out about his story through a series of videos and articles. Mr. Ripken and his personal physician and urologist, Dr. Ronald Tutrone of Chesapeake Urology in Baltimore, MD, will host a live speaking webinar event on September 29, 12:00-1:00 pm ET. The event requires advance registration and is available for replay following the event; replay details will be available on Exosomedx.com. Cal Ripken Jr. and Dr. Ronald Tutrone are expected to discuss Mr. Ripken’s personal prostate cancer journey, including the realization that the Iron Man became susceptible to the disease without traditional signs and symptoms, and the moment of clarity he had with his ExoDx Prostate test result.
“We are elated that Mr. Ripken survived prostate cancer and that our ExoDx Prostate test made a difference in the care and treatment of his condition,” said Chuck Kummeth, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bio-Techne. “He not only gave his heart and soul to the game of baseball, but is now willing to leverage his highly visible platform to make an impact on men’s lives by sharing his personal prostate cancer experience and how the ExoDx Prostate test impacted his journey.”
Ripken added, “When I was first diagnosed, I had all of the reactions most people had – concern, fear, uncertainty. Fortunately, Dr. Tutrone and my medical team were fantastic and because of the ExoDx Prostate test, I chose to have my biopsy and caught my cancer in the very early stages. After recovery I thought this would be an opportunity to utilize the platform that baseball has provided me to encourage others to take this simple test and work with their doctors to determine the best course of action.”