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Stemina Gets $2.3M NLMFF Investment to Advance Autism Biomarker Work

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Stemina Biomarker Discovery said yesterday that it has received a $2.3 million investment from the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation to support its clinical study of biomarkers in the blood of children with autism spectrum disorders.

The research has the potential to enable earlier diagnosis and individualized treatment of children with ASD from a blood sample, Madison, Wisc.-based Stemina said.

Using its proprietary metabolomics platform, Stemina has studied nearly 600 banked blood samples from patients with ASD as compared to typically developing children. Using blood samples, Stemina was able to distinguish patients with autism from typically developing children with 81 percent accuracy.

With the new investment from NLMFF, Stemina will be able to enroll patients under conditions ideal for studying their innate metabolism, the company said.

"This will increase our understanding of the individual metabolism of children with ASD [which] is a complex and diverse disorder," Stemina CEO Elizabeth Donley said in a statement. "What is exciting about the data we are generating … is that we are beginning to identify metabolic subtypes in comparing one child with ASD to another. This has the potential to revolutionize the way children are diagnosed and treated based on the individual's metabolism."