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Case Western Spinoff NeoProteomics Bags $300K Grant, Finalizes Licensing Deal with University

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NeoProteomics has concluded a licensing agreement with parent institution Case Western Reserve University for technology underlying four software programs that it plans to commercialize.

Under the terms of the 20-year licensing deal, initially disclosed in March, NeoProteomics will be the exclusive distributors of the technology. In return, Case Western Reserve has gained a 15 percent share in the company and will be paid a royalty of an undisclosed amount for each software sale.

The Cleveland, Ohio-based firm has also been awarded a two-year, $300,000 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Institutes of Health that will cover a portion of the costs associated with developing these tools.

In a statement, Mark Chance, NeoProteomics' co-founder and chief scientific officer, said the company aims to create a set of products "that help diagnose disease, predict progression of disease, and predict response to treatment of disease.”

Rod Nibbe, NeoProteomics' director of product development and senior scientist, added that the software will be marketed to academic and industrial researchers to help them unravel "the molecular mechanisms of complex biology inherent to many cancers and other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s."

NeoProteomics spun off from Case Western Reserve's school of medicine in 2006. With an emphasis on protein biomarker identification and validation, it focuses on developing and marketing software for integrating proteomic, genomic, and interactomic data.

The company markets three network biology packages: Subnetwork Analysis and Scoring System, or SASSy, which ranks sub-networks of interacting proteins based on corresponding gene expression data; Crosstalker, which searches protein-protein interaction networks for sub-networks with a functional role in disease; and Combinatorially Dysregulated Subnetworks, or CRANE, which searches protein interaction networks for sub-networks and expression states informative of phenotype.

It also sells two tools for mass spectrometry analysis: ProtModMS and ProtMapMS.

The company said its goal is to partner with international research teams to develop and discover new biomarkers for disease, validate existing biomarkers for clinical relevance, gain a better understanding of the functional interaction of disease proteins, analyze experimental data, and design experiments.

NeoProteomics did not provide details of the software it licensed from Case Western.

According to the abstract for its SBIR grant, it plans to use the funding to develop a suite of tools called DiseaseNet Finder that will integrate different types of -omic data with protein interaction networks and include classification tools. The abstract states that the software will feature "combinatorial scoring, multi-data-type integration, node- and edge-prediction tools, with end-point classification and quantitative scoring seamlessly implemented through graphical user interfaces."

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