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Feb 26, 2008

Althea Technologies Spins Out Diagnostics Business

  • Althea Technologies spun out an independent company to commercialize its genetic testing technology through a variety of laboratory services and gene-expression products. Althea Diagnostics will incorporate a test for differential diagnosis of pediatric solid-tumors, along with a pipeline of other biomarker sets that will be used for cancer management.

    The spinout will continue to provide laboratory services for biopharmaceutical companies and CROs, including the Express Pathway service suite. Drug developers use this product to identify promising molecules, explore treatment pathways, or build marker sets of clinical utility.

    Althea Diagnostics will be located within Althea Technologies’ San Diego campus. It will build upon commercialized technology for quantitative measurement of multiple genes in a single reaction as well as new technologies and bioinformatics applications designed to speed development of valuable molecular diagnostic tests.

    “This is truly a situation of technology and timing drawing us into the vibrant space of molecular diagnostics and biomarker development,” comments Althea’s cofounder, Francois Ferre. “The pull of this exciting market opportunity is just too strong to resist, so we are doing what good companies do—focusing these resources as a specialized entity with a clear business focus, proprietary tools, an ongoing revenue stream, and collaborations with leading researchers in the oncology field.”

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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