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Proteomics Dx Startup PPM Gets $2.3M from NHLBI for Cardio Health Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Predictive Physiology & Medicine, a diagnostic startup based in Bloomington, Ind., will use a $2.3 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to develop a proteomics-based test aimed at assessing cardiovascular health, the company said yesterday.
 
PPM said it is developing a test that will analyze 500 molecules in a single blood sample to detect conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension “earlier than other tests.”
 
According to the abstract for the NHLBI grant, the company's assessment method is a comparative proteomics approach that uses ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry combined with a “three-minute” analytical step.
 
“Very short experimental timescales are required to analyze the large number of individuals necessary to obtain statistically relevant healthy and disease profiles,” the company said in the abstract. “To accomplish this, PPM has selected a highly innovative approach in combining targeted proteomics with IMS-MS techniques. Here PPM will target low-abundance proteins using extensive abundant protein depletion as well as the immunoaffinity selection of the apolipoprotein family of proteins.”
 
PPM added that this approach “is distinguished from other immunoaffinity selection approaches in that a high level of sample complexity is retained after sample workup.”
 
The company, which currently employs 15 people, began developing the test in 2006.
The NHLBI funding will give the company “the resources we need to follow cardiovascular patients over time and track their progress," PPM’s CCO, Brian Kleber, said in a statement.
 
“The information we capture will give us a better understanding of cardiovascular health. It also allows us to discover if and how individuals act on the knowledge provided by our assessment — what steps they take to improve health and the success of their actions,” Kleber continued.
 
PPM said it secured the NHLBI funding with help from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Innovation and Small Business Technology Transfer Program.
 
The company said it plans to launch the test, called the PPM Cardiovascular Health and Wellness Report, in test markets before the end of the year.
 
PPM plans to start selling the service though wellness centers, sports medicine centers, executive health programs, and in other medical facilities in 2009.

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