Enabled Chronix to Complete Proof-of-Concept Studies Confirming Its Serum DNA Biomarkers Can Accurately Detect Early Stage Cancer and to File Two Key Patents
Sets Stage for Multiple Commercialization Initiatives Now Underway
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Chronix Biomedical today announced that it has completed a Series E financing that raised $1.8 million from existing and new investors. Chronix is developing disease-specific biomarkers based on DNA fragments that are released into the bloodstream by damaged and dying (apoptotic) cells. Chronix‘s serum DNA biomarkers are applicable to a wide range of cancers and other chronic diseases.
“Funds from this financing helped us complete proof-of-concept studies confirming that our apoptotic DNA blood tests can accurately detect multiple cancers at early stages, culminating in an oral presentation at the 2010 ASCO Annual Meeting and the filing of two key patent applications on the use of our technology for the detection of breast and prostate cancer,” noted Dr. Howard Urnovitz, CEO of Chronix.
The Chronix approach has been validated in a number of peer-reviewed settings. At the ASCO meeting in June, Chronix researchers presented data showing that its assay detected breast cancer and invasive prostate cancer with 92% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Additional published studies have demonstrated that the Chronix technology can identify the presence or absence of active disease in multiple sclerosis patients, and that it can accurately detect early stage breast cancer with high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity.
Dr. Urnovitz continued, “The versatility of our technology suggests it has the potential to transform disease detection and monitoring, accelerate clinical research, enable the development of companion diagnostics and help realize the goal of personalized disease management. It is also platform agnostic, meaning that our assays can be run on a variety of analytic platforms in various settings, including existing clinical laboratory systems and the new generation of genetic analyzers in development. We are therefore moving rapidly to commercialization, both on our own and in collaboration with a diverse group of partners.”
Chronix recently launched a “For Investigational Use Only” (IUO) testing service that enables cancer researchers to monitor the status of patients in their clinical trials with a high level of sensitivity and specificity. Commercial applications for veterinary use of the technology, including tests for the early detection of BSE, or mad cow disease, are in development in conjunction with the University of Calgary.
“Our returning shareholders have participated in each round of financing to date based upon Chronix having successfully achieved our stated milestones, and the closing of this Series E round will allow us to complete the remainder of the milestones we have mapped out for the coming year,” commented John DiPietro, CFO of Chronix. “In view of the multiple potential applications for our technology, we have now initiated a significantly larger financing that will be used to accelerate the commercialization process.”
Disease Detection Using Apoptotic DNA
Chronix researchers have developed proprietary diagnostic databases and related information using algorithms they developed to detect, analyze and identify disease-related fragments of DNA that are released into the bloodstream by apoptotic cells. This apoptotic DNA originates from a limited number of chromosomal regions, or “hotspots,” on the genome that are specific to each illness. By focusing on these genomic hotspots, the Chronix tests can reliably detect the presence of cancer without having first to isolate and analyze tumor cells, an important advantage.
About Chronix Biomedical
Chronix Biomedical is pioneering a breakthrough approach to the diagnosis, monitoring and management of a broad range of cancers and other conditions. It has developed proprietary technology that measures and categorizes DNA sequences circulating in the blood that are associated with specific changes in disease and health status. Using advanced genome analysis methodology, proprietary data tools and disease-specific databases, Chronix has demonstrated the utility of its diagnostic and prognostic approach in a chronic neurologic disease, in breast and prostate cancer and in multiple myeloma. It is currently conducting studies in other cancers. The company is now offering its Apoptotic Serum DNA testing service to cancer researchers “For Investigational Use Only” to track disease recurrence and monitor treatment in clinical trials. Chronix is headquartered in San Jose, California and has research facilities in Germany. For more information, visit www.chronixbiomedical.com.
Howard Urnovitz, Ph.D., 408-960-2306
GendeLLindheim BioCom Partners
Barbara Lindheim, 212-918-4650
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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Biotechnology Genetics Oncology Professional Services Finance