This story originally ran on Jan. 13.
Belgian biomarker firm Pronota this week announced it has been awarded €1.4 million ($2 million) to further validate and develop novel cardiovascular protein biomarkers.
The grant comes from the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders and will be used to validate and characterize candidate biomarkers discovered using Pronota's MASStermind platform. It also will be used to develop generic immuno-based assays for lead candidates. The assays will be used for the final clinical validation in a large, multicenter, clinical trial and for regulatory submission, the company said in a statement.
Koen Kas, founder and chief scientific officer of Pronota, said in the statement that the award "provides us with the means to address a significant clinical and commercial opportunity, which should prove the era of clinical proteomics has finally arrived."
During the summer the company announced it had raised €4.9 million in a Series B financing round. Then in October, it said it raised another €1.3 million. The funds from both tranches would be used to hasten the company's diagnostics development programs, including one targeting heart failure.
Pronota CEO Nick McCooke told ProteoMonitor in July that the firm had identified 10 candidate biomarkers for heart failure. Two existing biomarkers exist for diagnostic purposes, brain natriuretic peptide, or BNP, and N-terminal fragment BNP, or NT-proBNP. Both have limitations, however, including no definitive level that delineates patients with heart failure from those without resulting in a diagnostic gray area.
The company is developing its own biomarkers to address the weaknesses of BNP and NT-proBNP, McCooke said [See PM 07/09/09].
The company is targeting early 2012 for its first commercial product launch.