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Leroy Hood's New Personalized Dx Company Launches

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Integrated Diagnostics, the latest venture founded by Leroy Hood, launched this week with $30 million in Series A funding from venture capital firm InterWest Partners, the Wellcome Trust, and Dievini Hopp Biotech Holding.

The Seattle-based firm will focus on developing personalized and preventative diagnostics that can identify organ-specific proteins. The company's approach to developing diagnostics promises to decrease the cost and time it takes to develop diagnostics, according to Hood.

Integrated Dx is the first commercial venture to result from a $200 million personalized medicine collaboration between the government of Luxembourg and three US research institutions, among them the Institute of Systems Biology, which is led by Hood. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg plans to invest in Integrated Dx in the future, which will grant the company access to research from the ongoing collaboration between Luxembourg and ISB to discover lung cancer biomarkers.

According to a statement issued by Integrated Dx, the company will focus on developing diagnostic tools to help patients and physicians detect disease in its earliest stages. "Integrated Diagnostics has several promising initial targets and is approximately three to four years from commercialization," a company spokesperson told GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication Pharmacogenomics Reporter this week.

The company is one part of Hood's armamentarium of projects using systems biology approaches to transform healthcare from being reactionary to being "predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory," which he refers to as P4.

"Just as the DNA sequencer allowed us to decode the human genome, the technology behind Integrated Diagnostics will allow us unprecedented insight into preventing and treating diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's by analyzing the proteins that appear in their earliest stages," said Hood.

Using genomic and proteomic techniques, Hood and his research team at ISB will be able to detect protein blood markers in a specific organ site and gauge what it says about disease states and treatment response.

Other than Integrated Dx, Hood has previously played a role in the founding of over a dozen companies, including Amgen, Rosetta Inpharmatics and Applied Biosystems.

In addition to Hood, the other co-founders of Integrated Dx include Jim Heath, professor of chemistry at Caltech who also directs the National Cancer Institute-funded NanoSystems Biology Cancer Center; David Galas, a professor at ISB and VP/CSO of Battelle Memorial Institute; and Paul Kearney, scientific director of special projects at ISB who will also serve as president and CSO of Integrated Dx.

A more detailed article on Integrated Dx has been published this week by Pharmacogenomics Reporter.

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