Seeks to Support Test for Early Detection of Lung Cancer due to High Disease Incidence among Native Americans
Loleta California and Rockville Maryland – November 6, 2014 – The Bear River Band Indian Tribe has announced an equity investments in 20/20 GeneSystems, Inc. (“20/20”). Bear River is seeking to support the advancement of 20/20’s blood test for the early detection of lung cancer (see www.BloodTestforLungCancer.com), a disease with high prevalence among native Americans.
20/20 currently markets in the U.S. a blood test for the early detection of lung cancer. The test is made available to primary care physicians who use it to help detect lung cancer in their patients who are smokers and former smokers. Smoking among American Indians and Alaska Natives at 32% is the highest by far among any racial and ethnic group according to the American Lung Association. As such lung cancer is a problem of epidemic proportions in this community.
“The Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria is intrigued by the diagnostic value of the lung cancer test that 2020 Gene Systems has developed from a health care perspective and a business perspective,” said Dakota McGinnis, Vice Chair of the Tribal Council. “Investing in 20/20 Gene Systems provides a unique opportunity for Bear River to blend its focus on a health care issue of importance to Tribal Communities with an opportunity for economic development and diversification. The tax credit incentive program with the State of Maryland is also very attractive in terms of mitigating risk. 2020 Gene Systems is a company we are proud to be associated with in the short and long term.”
“We appreciate the support of the Bear River tribe and look forward to expanding our relationship with them and other tribes by conducting studies to demonstrate the usefulness of our test in reducing lung cancer mortality among Native Americans,” stated Jonathan Cohen, CEO of 20/20.
About the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria
The Bear River Tribe (http://www.brb-nsn.gov/) was established in 1910 as a home for homeless, landless Native American Indians. In 1958 Rohnerville Rancheria was one of 34 California tribes that was terminated by an act of congress known as the Rancheria Act. In 1983 the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, along with sixteen other California Tribes, regained their federal recognition status by a class action lawsuit known as the Tillie-Hardwick case. The Tribe is governed by a seven member Tribal Council, owns and operates a number of Tribal Enterprises, most prominently the Bear River Casino Hotel, and provides a range of health and social services to a Tribal Membership of nearly 600.