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Ontario Genomics Institute Invests in New Cancer Dx Firm

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Ontario Genomics Institute has invested C$100,000 (US$101,000) in Toronto-based molecular diagnostics developer Rna Diagnostics to support further development of the company's lead test for chemotherapy management.

OGI provided the funding to Rna Diagnostics, which has its research lab in Sudbury, Ontario and uses technology developed at Sudbury's Laurentian University, through its Pre-Commercialization Business Development Fund.

The start-up's RNA Disruption Assay, or RDA, is designed to indicate if a patient is responding to therapy early in treatment: information physicians can use to decide if a treatment regimen should be modified or discontinued for a particular patient.

According to the company's website, the RDA is the only diagnostic tool that predicts early in treatment how a patient will respond to chemotherapy. The firm added that it can help spare people who are not responding to continued or adverse treatment, can offer savings for healthcare payers, and has been established in a multi-center breast cancer clinical trial.

"One of the key aims of personalized medicine is to provide the right medicine to the right patient at the right time," OGI President and CEO Mark Poznansky said in a statement. "This assay monitors molecular data from a particular patient to help inform clinical decisions for that patient."

"The investment from OGI will help support validation of the RDA assay including a clinical trial as part of the development of a prototype clinical system," added Rna Diagnostics President and CEO Kenneth Pritzker. "This work will help us in the development of a first generation product for early adopter clinical centers in Canada and globally."

The OGI development fund invests in entities developing new genomics, proteomics, and related technologies that are in the validation phase or have the short-term potential to gain more support in moving to the market.

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