PITTSBURGH, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Immunetrics, Inc., a computer simulation company that has a modeling platform used in the drug development process, and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), a partnership to put the region's life sciences industry on a fast track for growth, today announced that PLSG, through its affiliate, the Pittsburgh Biomedical Development Corporation (PBDC), has invested $100,000 in pre-seed funds to Immunetrics. The life sciences company has developed software that bridges the gap between the drug development processes of preclinical testing and human clinical trials.
Immunetrics' core technology, which is exclusively licensed from the University of Pittsburgh, is a software modeling system that targets inflammatory diseases. The company's first application of its technology is in the ICU which includes sepsis, trauma and shock. Intensive care costs are estimated to be 1.5% of the US GDP.
"We are excited to have the financial backing of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. It provides added recognition of our market potential as we extend our inflammatory response model beyond acute indications and into more chronic conditions such as cancer. The Greenhouse's commitment to assist early stage companies will be an excellent catalyst for growth and success for our region," said Steven Chang, President and CEO of Immunetrics.
"Immunetrics uses computer-simulated preclinical and clinical trials to assist drug companies in prioritizing their drug development pipeline, providing valuable insights into which compounds to move into clinical trials and how to do so most effectively," said Doros Platika, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the PLSG. "While such modeling has been used to address other diseases, none have successfully modeled the inflammatory response system. We feel very confident that by helping to support Immunetrics, the PLSG is supporting a breakthrough development with unimagined potential."
This investment marks one of the first new investments made by the PBDC since 1999. In November 2003, the PLSG approved a recapitalization of the PBDC to allow for pre-seed investments in individual start-ups and early stage companies. The PBDC became affiliated with the PLSG in June 2003.
Original financial support for the PBDC, which was incorporated in 1988, came in the form of grants primarily from regional foundations and community development organizations totaling $1.2 million. From 1991 through 1999, the PBDC had invested in 11 regional companies, exhausting available funds for new investment. By 2003, returns on those initial investments created the opportunity for PBDC to resume pre-seed investment in the region's life sciences.
Immunetrics was created by Launchcyte LLC, a biotechnology development corporation, and has received funding from UPMC, University of Pittsburgh, Innovation Works and private investors. Immunetrics has developed the first in silico predictive software model of the inflammatory response. The Immunetrics model is a comprehensive set of differential equations that embodies all major effectors of acute inflammation, adaptive immunity and the coagulation cascade and their role in the patient. The model stems from a multidisciplinary collaboration between experts in critical care medicine, mathematics, immunology, and computation, and is based on years of research and thousands of publications. With this model, Immunetrics can assist drug companies during the development stages of preclinical and clinical testing of new compounds. The model is being extended to other conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
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 our 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. The PLSG is focused on developing a portfolio of companies in the following industry sectors: drug discovery tools and targets, medical devices and diagnostics, tissues engineering and regenerative medicine and therapeutic strategies for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse