HAYWARD, Calif. and ST. LOUIS, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Singulex Inc. today announced a collaboration with researchers at Washington University School of Medicine to increase the clinical utility of both validated and recently discovered biomarkers in human disease. Singulex also announced the company will receive a $900,000 Phase I/II Fast Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to create biomarker assays to help predict patient response and therapeutic efficacy of cancer therapies in development.
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine will be part of Singulex's Erenna(TM) Technology Access Program (ETAP) to develop biomarker assays for both validated and putative biomarkers in important disease areas, including breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and stroke. ETAP allows early access for institutions and companies to Erenna, the company's flagship biomarker detection platform system which incorporates Singulex's proprietary advanced biomarker detection technologies and optimized immunoassays. An Erenna system has been installed in the proteomics core facility, run by R. Reid Townsend, M.D., Ph.D., at Washington University's Siteman Cancer Center.
"We are pleased to collaborate with Singulex to evaluate this innovative technology that was developed here in St. Louis," said Samuel Stanley, M.D., vice chancellor of research at Washington University. "Together with Singulex, we want to determine whether the Erenna system can assess the effectiveness of novel anti-cancer drugs early in their development and predict patients' responses to these therapies."
Among the earliest investors in Singulex was Prolog Ventures of St. Louis. "We now consider Singulex to be one of the most exciting companies in our portfolio," said Prolog Ventures managing director and Singulex director, Greg Johnson. "We are especially pleased to see that the first Erenna placement at a major medical research center occurred at Washington University."
For the NCI SBIR contract, Singulex will collaborate with researchers at Washington University and St. Louis-based Sigma Aldrich. Singulex will use biological samples from Washington University and optimized reagents from Sigma Aldrich to develop assays to detect important expression level changes for a panel of proteins associated with the growth of many cancers. The goal of these assays is to measure the efficacy of potential anticancer drugs earlier in the developmental process and provide insight to patients' response to new candidate therapeutic agents. For example, an assay for changes in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in blood, a protein biomarker correlated to a poor prognosis for breast cancer patients, could potentially determine if a clinical-stage drug candidate is active against VEGF and whether treatment with the candidate correlates to tumor regression.
"Biomarkers indicative of disease states are increasingly crucial to translating basic science breakthroughs into better patient outcomes," said Philippe Goix, Ph.D., president and CEO of Singulex. "However, until now, technologies that reliably measure small variations in biomarker expression levels in serum samples have been lacking. The Erenna system gives researchers the ability to measure small changes of biomarkers from healthy to disease states to provide answers not only about disease progression but also therapeutic efficacy of drugs in development."
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN261200700047C.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of eight agencies that compose the Public Health Service (PHS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients. More information is located at http://www.cancer.gov.
Singulex develops and commercializes innovative technology solutions that enable disease understanding and management for life science researchers and clinicians. Utilizing proprietary quantitative single molecule detection technology, Singulex develops customized biomarker diagnostic systems that can detect and quantify normal and abnormal protein biomarkers in a variety of biological samples with extreme sensitivity and accuracy. Singulex is currently conducting several pilot studies with academic and molecular diagnostic partners to validate the company's commercial digital molecule detection platform, the Erenna(TM) Immunoassay System. Singulex's research and development facilities are located at the Center for Emerging Technologies in St Louis, Missouri, and the company's commercial operations are based in Hayward, California. To learn more about Singulex, please visit us at http://www.singulex.com.
CONTACT: Carolyn Hawley of Porter Novelli Life Sciences, +1-619-849-5375,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for Singulex Inc.
Web site: http://www.singulex.com/