IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Thuris, a privately held biomedical and drug development company, and R. Scott Greer, Managing Director of Numenor Ventures LLC, today announced the formation of Izalex Inc., a new company to commercialize the NeuroGraph medical device. Greer, with over 20 years experience in the healthcare industry, will serve as Chairman and CEO of Izalex. Financial terms were not disclosed but Thuris retains a majority interest in the new company.
The NeuroGraph(TM) is a portable, turnkey hardware and software system that enables a health practitioner to run a rapid, non-invasive session during which electrophysiological data are collected from a patient. The device, which is 510K cleared by FDA, measures evoked brain responses and provides detailed comparative information relating a subject's responses to those of carefully examined patients stored in a proprietary database. The system uses proprietary signal processing and statistical learning methods to isolate diagnostic signals in the immensely complicated electrophysiological patterns generated by the brain of awake human subjects.
"The unique capabilities of the NeuroGraph should enable the routine use of EEG and ERP readings in clinical trials and diagnostic applications," said R. Scott Greer, Chairman and CEO of Izalex. "The ability to offer a fast, non-invasive diagnostic tool for CNS disorders will enhance the evaluation of brain-related conditions. With millions of psychiatric diagnoses performed each year, we see a significant market opportunity for the NeuroGraph."
"Scott is an experienced life science executive with an impressive track record of building successful businesses. Under his leadership, we expect Izalex to deliver on the original Thuris goal for the NeuroGraph -- the commercialization of a non-invasive medical device that will deliver much-needed objective patient data to the fields of psychiatry and neurology," said Keith B. Hoffman, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of Thuris.
About the NeuroGraph
Electrophysiological data, as captured by Electroencephalography (EEG) and Event Related Potential (ERP) tests, contain an information-rich picture of the dynamic physiology of the brain. Researchers have for years used EEG and ERP technology to gain insight into a variety of brain disorders but it has not been possible to use this information for psychiatric diagnosis. Now, after five years of developing hardware, software, and advanced information processing techniques, the NeuroGraph system is able to provide an objective, statistical comparison of a given subject's EEG and ERP dataset against a database of known brain disorders. The techniques can be used as a) an aid to diagnosis in psychiatric medicine and b) an objective tool for enrollment screening and endpoint monitoring in clinical trials of novel pharmaceuticals.
Thuris is focused on pharmaceuticals to treat select Orphan and niche indications, Alzheimer's disease, and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Three Orphan clinical programs are in development. Thuris' drug development efforts originated from the Company's in vitro and in vivo animal models that recreate the hallmarks (including brain inflammation, neuronal inclusions, neurofibrillary tangles, amyloid toxicity, etc.) of major neurodegenerative diseases in just days -- a significant leap forward for neuroprotective drug development. Such advances have enabled Thuris to focus on developing mechanism-based compounds to treat select Orphan indications, Alzheimer's and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Thuris intends, through its co-development partnerships, as well as with its own in-house drug leads, to forward multiple anti-neurodegenerative therapeutics to the clinic. To this end, Thuris has partnered with Cephalon (USA; http://www.cephalon.com/), PRAECIS Pharmaceuticals (USA; http://www.praecis.com/), D-Pharm (Israel; http://www.dpharm.com/), Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals (Italy; http://www.sigma-tau.it/); the Chinese National Center for Drug Screening, SiniWest China, and Degussa BioActives (Germany; http://www.degussa.com/).
About R. Scott Greer and Numenor Ventures
R. Scott Greer, as managing director of Numenor Ventures LLC, is a private investor in and consultant to the biotechnology industry with over twenty years experience. He is a founder of Abgenix, Inc., http://www.abgenix.com/, a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing human antibody based therapeutics, serving as its Chief Executive Officer from its inception in July 1996 through May 2002 and as its chairman since May 2000. Prior to forming Abgenix, Mr. Greer spent five years at Cell Genesys, Inc, initially as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development and later as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. Mr. Greer serves as a director of several other companies including two publicly traded firms, Illumina, Inc. and Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Greer received a BA in economics from Whitman College and an MBA from Harvard University. Numenor Ventures, based in Santa Barbara, CA, is an investment management company that invests in private life sciences companies.
For further information:
R. Scott Greer
Chairman and CEO
1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 1-389
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
p: (805) 969-9395
f: (805) 969-2995
Keith B. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer
p: (949) 417-4623
Thuris Corporation; Numenor Ventures