Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Invests $100,000 In StageMark To Help In The Diagnosis And Monitoring Of Lupus And Autoimmune Diseases  
3/21/2006 12:28:01 PM

PITTSBURGH, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Doros Platika, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), the private/public partnership putting the region's life sciences industry on a fast track for growth, today announced PLSG has invested $100,000 in StageMark (, a Pittsburgh-based start-up company that is working to begin commercial development of a technology to help diagnose and monitor lupus and other autoimmune diseases. The investment is provided under the PLSG's Technology Development Fund (TDF) program.

StageMark's technology exclusively in-licensed from the University of Pittsburgh and its affiliated Medical Center provides new means to measure a critical pathway involved in a variety of "inflammatory conditions". Initially, the company intents to commercialize its new tests in lupus. The firm utilizes a proprietary test platform called CB-CAPs (Cell-Bound- Complement Activation Products) that has been the subject of extensive clinical studies in lupus. This platform uses state-of the- art cell analysis methods. Pilot studies for other applications are already ongoing.

"Systemic Lupus Erythematosus affects 1.5 million people in the United States and about 5 million individuals around the globe," said Dr. Bernard Cambou, President and Chief Executive Officer of StageMark. "Through the use of this new technology, combined with the wealth of data from previous clinical research at UPMC, StageMark will get off to a fast start in launching a diagnostic approach in a disease that is in dire need for better diagnostic tests".

About the Technology Development Fund (TDF)

The Technology Development Fund is a competitive funding program designed to increase the commercialization potential of life science technologies developed by the region's scientists and entrepreneurs. The intent is to provide financial support to verify the technical and commercial feasibility of early stage inventions that will accelerate and increase the likelihood that the technology will be successfully commercialized through a regional start-up company. These funds can be used in conjunction with or to leverage other early sources of funding.

About the PLSG

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse is a public/private partnership, founded by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Health System, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its regional foundation community. Together with private industry and advanced research and healthcare capabilities of our institutional partners, PLSG invests in and supports the growth of regional life sciences companies in the areas of: bioinformatics; bionanotechnology; diagnostics; medical devices; medical robotics; therapeutics; and tools and services.

Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse

CONTACT: Tim O'Brien of O'Brien Communications, +1-412-854-8845; or LynnBanaszak Brusco of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, +1-412-770-1353