Send to printer »

GEN News Highlights : Oct 14, 2009

Leroy Hood-Led Venture Kicks Off with $30M

Integrated Diagnostics will leverage research on protein blood markers related to the physiological state of the 50 major organs.

Integrated Diagnostics officially launched today with over $30 million in funding. The company has been founded by system biology expert Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D. The firm will focus on developing personalized and preventive diagnostics based on breakthroughs using genomic and proteomic technologies to identify organ-specific proteins.

“Just as the DNA sequencer allowed us to decode the human genome, the technology behind Integrated Diagnostics will allow us unprecedented insight into preventing and treating diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s by analyzing the proteins that appear in their earliest stages,” remarks Dr. Hood, current president of The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and inventor of the DNA sequencer. “By taking a systems approach to monitoring an individual’s health we will be able to provide physicians and patients an early warning system for preventing and treating diseases.”
 
Integrated Diagnostics will have access to Dr. Hood’s research at ISB investigating protein blood markers that can report on the physiological state of the body's 50 major organs. His research uses genomic and proteomic techniques to identify blood proteins that are only synthesized in the organ of interest and then identifies subtle changes that result from disease or treatment.

By monitoring concentrations of these proteins in the blood, disruptions in healthy function can be detected and traced back to the diseased organ. This work is based on the concept of a systems view of disease where pathophysiology arises from disease-perturbed networks of proteins, genes, and other molecules.
 
Through its research collaborations, Integrated Diagnostics possesses proprietary data on organ-specific proteins across a range of human organs. These protein panels are applicable to many diagnostic modalities including early detection of disease, stratification of disease types, and monitoring disease progression and recurrence.
 
Integrated Diagnostics is the first commercial enterprise to emerge from a $200 million public-private partnership announced in 2008 between Luxembourg and three American research institutions including ISB.
 
Other founders of Integrated Diagnostics are Jim Heath, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Caltech, David Galas, Ph.D., professor at ISB and vp/CSO of the Battelle Memorial Institute, and Paul Kearney, Ph.D., scientific director of special projects at ISB.