Via Federal Express
August 7, 2008
David P. King
President and Chief Executive Officer
Laboratory Corporation of America
430 South Spring Street
Burlington , North Carolina 27215
Dear Mr. King:
It has come to our attention that you are currently marketing the OvaSure™ Yale Ovarian Cancer Test, also advertised as the OvaSure™ For Women at High-Risk for Ovarian Cancer, and OvaSure™ For Women at High-Risk for Ovarian Cancer, (Serial Monitor) , (collectively referred to hereafter as the OvaSure™ Test) which is intended to be used as a tool to identify high-risk women who might have ovarian carcinoma. It appears that you are marketing the OvaSure™ Test with performance characteristics (specifically, 95.3% sensitivity and 99.4% specificity) that are identical to those reported in a research study published by Visintin, I., et al., in the February 15 edition of Clinical Cancer Research (Visintin, I. et al., Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Feb 15;14(4):1065-72.). We note that this research was carried out, and performance derived, on two populations that are strongly clinically biased for being healthy and normal, and for having already experienced ovarian cancer. Based on the available information, we do not believe the scientific community would consider the reported study sufficient to establish performance characteristics of a test in “high risk women who might have ovarian cancer”, i.e., in a clinical setting, as claimed in your intended use and promotional materials.
Based on our review of your promotional materials and the research publication cited above, we believe you are offering a high risk test that has not received adequate clinical validation, and may harm the public health. We would like to discuss with you your offer of this test, and any validation strategies you have undertaken beyond those reported in the publication cited above.
We look forward to discussing this with you, and are committed to working with you as we strive to protect the public health without unnecessarily imposing regulatory burdens on the marketing of products of potential clinical importance.
Steven I. Gutman, M.D., M.B.A.
Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Device Evaluation and Safety
Center for Devices and Radiological Health