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RayBiotech Awarded STTR Funds

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – RayBiotech has won a Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institutes of Health to support development of biomarker-based technologies for use in diagnosing endometriosis, the company said today.

The company plans to use the $100,000 grant to profile protein expression levels in endometriosis patients' samples and to identify protein biomarkers from endometrial biopsy samples that could be used in diagnosis, drug development, and patient care.

The Norcross, Ga.-based firm develops protein and antibody arrays for rapid detection of multiple disease-related protein biomarkers in biological specimens.

Endometriosis is a gynecological disease in which endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterine cavity. It causes pelvic pain and infertility, and it affects roughly 10 percent of the women of reproductive age around the world, the company said. The disease is currently diagnosed using laparoscopic surgery, and a less costly and less invasive alternative "is desperately needed," the firm said.

"The hope is that the discovery of a robust biomarker signature will pave the way for an accurate, inexpensive diagnostic test for endometriosis as an alternative to surgery," RayBiotech said.

The company's approach is based on the idea that if protein biomarkers are identified using antibody arrays, then those antibodies could be used to validate them and to develop diagnostic tests.

"Antibody array technology represents a new paradigm for biomarker proteomics that has the potential to accelerate biomarker discovery and validation compared to traditional methods of proteomics," RayBiotech Founder and President and Emory University Assistant Professor Ray Huang said in a statement.