November 18, 2010-Portland, Oregon-Gamma Therapeutics, Inc., an Oregon-based biotechnology venture developing biopharmaceutical and diagnostic test solutions for the cardiovascular disease industry, announced today the launch of its new corporate headquarters and research laboratory in Portland, Oregon. Gamma Therapeutics’ products are based upon a natural clotting protein in human blood, called Gamma Prime Fibrinogen. The flagship product, branded GammaCoeur(TM), is a novel cardiovascular disease risk diagnostic test.
GammaCoeur Cardiovascular Disease Risk Diagnostic Assay. GammaCoeur addresses the need for a new cardiovascular disease (CVD) test to complement traditional testing methods, such as those to determine cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose levels for heart attack and stroke risk. Worldwide, millions die each year from fatal heart attacks, many of which may have been preventable with more predictive testing methods. In fact, in 2009, of the 500,000 Americans who died of a heart attack, as many as 50% tested normal for cholesterol levels, the recognized gold standard for heart risk assessment. The target audience for GammaCoeur includes cardiologists, cardiovascular physicians and hematologists.
Gamma Therapeutics’ founder, Dr. David Farrell, formerly an Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) pathology professor and researcher and, currently, a professor of medicine in the OHSU Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, will assume a new position in the company as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).
According to Dr. Farrell, “During our research over the past 10 years and as part of ongoing heart studies by leading cardiovascular research institutions, such as the Framingham Heart Study (1) and others (2,3), strong and significant links were found between Gamma Prime Fibrinogen levels and cardiovascular disease. The GammaCoeur CVD Risk Assay, built upon the Gamma Prime Fibrinogen platform, will enhance cardiologists’ ability to assess heart attack and stroke risk, provide a new predictive tool for point-of-care diagnostics and improve the quality and outcomes of preventative medicine.”
Gamma Therapeutics Wins $1.46 M NIH/SBIR Award. In August, 2010, Gamma Therapeutics received a $1.46 M, 3-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant to develop GammaCoeur. The first prototype assay is currently under development, and the company hopes to begin BETA testing in early 2011 as part of the FDA medical device approval process.
David Eastman, a life science and medical device industry veteran and consultant for 24 medical and biotechnology venture start-ups has joined Gamma Therapeutics as the new Chief Executive Officer. Formerly the interim CEO of Yecuris Corporation, an OHSU biotech venture developing humanized mice for drug discovery, Eastman brings to the company 25 years of national and international experience in the business development, funding and commercialization of biotech and medical device products.
“We are excited about launching a new Oregon biotechnology company and developing a novel heart risk assay for the cardiovascular industry. In the U.S. alone, over $500 billion is spent annually on cardiovascular disease-related problems of which $1.36 B is spent on diagnostic testing,” commented David Eastman, chief executive officer. “GammaCoeur will give physicians a better prognosis tool to assess heart attack or stroke risk and offer the potential to lower the cost of care and treatment.”
According to Gamma Therapeutic executives, other patented and patent-pending products in the product pipeline include GammaSeal™, a surgical sealant, and Gammarin™, an anti-coagulant blood thinner.
About Gamma Therapeutics, Inc.
Gamma Therapeutics, Inc. is a Oregon “C” corporation and biotechnology venture start-up developing a novel class of biopharmaceutical and diagnostic test solutions for the cardiovascular disease industry. Gamma Therapeutics’s corporate offices and laboratory are headquartered in the Marquam II Building, 2611 SW Third Avenue, Suite 280N, Portland, Oregon 97201. For more information, go to the Gamma Therapeutics website at: www.gamma-therapeutics.com
David Eastman, CEO
(1) Framingham Heart Study: Lovely et al. g’ Fibrinogen: Evaluation of a New Assay for Study of Associations with Cardiovascular Disease. Clinical Chemistry 2010; 56: 781-8
(2) Stockholm Coronary Artery Risk Factor Study: Mannila et al. Elevated Plasma Fibrinogen g’ Concentration Increases Risk of Myocardial Infarction: Effects of Genetic Variation in Fibrinogen Genes and Environmental Factors. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2007; 5: 766-73
(3) Penn State University CAD Study: Lovely et al. Association of gA/g’ Fibrinogen Levels and Coronary Artery Disease. Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2002; 88: 26-31