Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY) shares climbed again today after achieving its latest milestone – completing a prototype test kit.

The company is trying to replace the faecal immunochemical test used as part of the federal government’s bowel cancer screening program.

It has boasted its own test, a blood test known as ColoSTAT, would do a better job, being more cost-effective and more likely to be taken up.

While the company listed back in late 2017, it lagged for just over two years thereafter as progress was slower than investors would have liked.

2020 has seen visible progress and shares have rallied ever since, including validating biomarkers and the algorithm that determines the test result. The company also sealed ISO certification of its quality management system.


Rhythm is for real

Today Rhythm Biosciences had two further milestones to announce. First, the completion of a prototype ColoSTAT test kit. And second, that a clinical study showed its test kit performed very well – better than the company was expecting.

The company completed a study on 200 blood samples, evenly split between cancerous and healthy samples. It said preliminary results demonstrated ColoSTAT was highly accurate, distinguishing between healthy and cancerous samples at a specificity of 95 per cent.

This was not only better than previously reported faecal test results but previous internal studies.

The company reiterated to its shareholders that 2020 had been a successful year with numerous milestones. It now will initiate scale-up activities to produce further test kits to conduct further testing on.

“ColoSTAT addresses the significant global unmet need for a simple, accurate, reliable and affordable blood test to detect colorectal cancer within a mass-screening environment and we are excited to be at the forefront of this transformative development,” said CEO Glenn Gilbert.

Shares in Rhythm Biosciences rose 20 per cent this morning to 34 cents. The company fell to a low of 4.8 cents in March making its eight-month rise nearly 600 per cent.

It is also 70 per cent above its IPO price.

Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY) share price chart