NeoProteomics Inc., a biomarker development and software company, has secured an exclusive option agreement with Case Western Reserve University. The deal has potential to enhance various forms of treatment of cancer, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases.
Proteomics is the scientific next step in vital research of protein structures of biological systems. NeoProteomics, founded in 2006 in Cleveland near Case Western Reserve's School of Medicine, focuses on biomarker identification and validation and seeks to spearhead the development of unique and improved analysis tools.
Mark R. Chance, PhD, NeoProteomics co-founder and chief scientific officer, said the exclusive option, established through Case Western Reserve's Technology Transfer Office, will greatly help with tools and biomarkers that will permit the company to expand its portfolio in the growing field of personalized medicine.
"In particular, they will help provide milestones in clinical trials to speed drug and companion diagnostics development for major pharmaceutical companies" Chance said. Chance is director, Case Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics; professor, Department of General Medical Sciences; director, Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences and professor and interim chair in the Department of Genetics at the university's School of Medicine.
The option agreement reserves the intellectual property for the company and was negotiated by Michael Haag, director of biomedical licensing for Case Western Reserve.
"NeoProteomics has developed an exciting business model whereby its software business, which they call their 'Innovation Engine,' can feed directly into and drive its biomarker business," Haag said. "We are proud to partner with NeoProteomics and look forward to a long relationship."
NeoProteomics also includes John L. H. Schenkel Jr., co-founder, president and CEO, and Steven Chance, JD, secretary and general counsel. Proteomics specialist Rod Nibbe, PhD, has recently joined the executive team as a senior scientist and director of product development.
The company also recently received a grant from The Innovation Fund, founded by the Lorain County Community College Foundation. That grant is intended to further develop the company's business model and develop laboratory tests to validate biomarkers of clinical significance, Schenkel said.
Schenkel also acknowledged the support and feedback received from the Great Lakes Innovation Development Enterprise (GLIDE) that has provided the funding to help develop the biomarkers licensed from the university.
Currently, NeoProteomics is distributing software already licensed from Case Western Reserve. The software, ProtMapMS, speeds structural biology research by automating mass spectrometry workflows. It has been licensed to major pharmaceutical companies and some of the country's most prestigious research universities.
Additional bioinformatics software solutions offered by NeoProteomics, also based on Case Western Reserve technologies, are intended to integrate high throughput genomics and proteomics data in clinical research and are under development.
"We intend to build a platform of novel software products which will increase the speed at which academic and pharma researchers carry out their clinical and translational work," Schenkel said.