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Sophic Wins $750K in NCI Funding

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sophic Systems Alliance has reeled in a $750,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to continue development of its Sophic Cancer Biomarker KnowledgeBase (Scan-Mark), which will be used in personalized cancer research.

The Rockville, Md.-based company said that it will use Biomax Informatics' BioXM Knowledge Management System to mine, curate, and annotate cancer biomarker information to develop a platform to support research in personalized medicine, to improve accuracy of disease diagnosis, and to increase the effectiveness of treatments, as well as in cancer drug discovery research.

The Scan-Mark system will include validated information on the specificity and sensitivity of biomarkers that will be maintained and improved through regular update cycles.

The company plans to release and license a beta-version of Scan-Mark to commercial, government, and academic organizations in the fall of 2011.

The company also will develop a Biomax wiki-style interface to provide cancer researchers and oncologists access to biomarker information.

A Phase I SBIR award from 2009 was spent on development of a functional prototype of the Scan-Mark platform.

"The funding for this project will help drive the growth of Sophic's intellectual property and allow us to hire three new scientists for our team," Sophic CEO Patrick Blake said in a statement.

"In the future, we expect our research and collaboration with Sophic to ultimately impact cancer patient care and get one step closer to personalized anti-cancer therapies," K. Stephen Suh, a member of Sophic's scientific advisory board and scientific director of the Tissue Bank and Cancer Research Program at Hackensack University Medical Center, said in a statement.

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