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California Startup Publishes Data on MDx Technology; Seeks Partners

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Chronix Biomedical today said that its scientists have published a study in the current issue of Clinical Chemistry, which it said provides proof-of-concept for the diagnostic and prognostic utility of its technology.

The San Jose, Calif.-based startup has developed data analysis tools that it said can characterize and categorize circulating nucleic acid markers. The firm said that the current study confirms its previous research showing that CNAs can identify the presence of certain diseases in blood samples months to years before clinical symptoms appear.

In the published study published, Chronix's scientists applied ultra-high speed sequencing technology with the firm's data analysis tools to find CAN markers in multiple individuals. The researchers said that the resulting databases of CNAs associated with specific disease states can be used to identify people with undiagnosed disease, and could also potentially be used to track changes in disease status.

Though the firm's researchers used a Roche 454 Genome Sequencer in the study, Chronix's technology is platform-independent, a spokesperson told GenomeWeb Daily News.

The most recent study follows company research published in January in Nucleic Acids Research, which showed that a blood test based on circulating DNA sequences could identify bovine spongiform encephalopathy and chronic wasting disease in live animals before symptoms were evident.

The firm also said that a third study was recently published in the journal Blood demonstrating the potential utility of CNAs in the management of cancer.

"Even in these experiments we found unexpected results – undiagnosed hepatitis in one patient and a secondary cancer in another – confirming the utility of CNAs in finding unsuspected disease," Chronix Biomedical CEO Howard Urnovitz said in a statement. "With these multiple proof-of-concept experiments now completed, we are embarking on the studies needed to further confirm and commercialize this powerful new approach with important applications in personalized medicine and human health."

Chronix is currently seeking industry partners to help further develop and commercialize the CNA technology for diagnostic and prognostic applications. It also said that it is discussing use of the technology with potential pharmaceutical partners, who could use it in drug development studies.