March 18, 2010 ST. LOUIS, MO – C2N Diagnostics announced today that it has received a multi-year grant from an anonymous donor. The award has the potential to exceed $1M in milestone-driven funding. It significantly accelerates C2N’s efforts to develop highly informative biomarkers implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
“We are so delighted to have such amazing support from the philanthropy community to achieve our corporate objectives and vision,” stated Dr. Joel Braunstein, managing member of C2N. “This award will allow us to enhance a number of our existing biomarker assays and to possibly create several key new ones. We see C2N’s assays as becoming an invaluable part of the drug development process in the field of neurodegeneration. Support from our generous new donor brings us one step closer to the realization of this goal.”
C2N’s existing SILK-Aß™ assay relies on stable isotope labeling and tandem mass spectrometry for the measurement of the kinetics, or in vivo metabolism, of amyloid-beta – a small peptide implicated as a key mediator of Alzheimers disease. The assay has potential to provide unparalleled sensitivity in clinical trials for evaluating the impact of disease-modifying drugs on neurally-derived Aß. Expansion of C2N’s SILK platform will enable the technology to be applied toward a variety of other important settings, and to provide vital new insights in disease progression.
In addition to the anonymous grant, C2N announced today a key new hire to its team. Dr. Yan “Helen” Hu joins C2N as Principal Research Scientist. In this capacity, Dr. Hu will manage internal R&D initiatives at C2N. Dr. Braunstein added, “We are very pleased to have Helen join us from San Francisco, where she worked at Genentech, Inc within its pre-clinical group. She has considerable expertise in molecular genetics and biology, and adds to the existing talent of our lab team at C2N.”
At Genentech, Dr. Hu successfully led the anti-interleukin 17 program (for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases) from late stage research to preclinical development, and played a key role in preparation of an IND (Investigational New Drug) filing. While at Genentech, Dr. Hu also made important new discoveries into interleukin 17 receptor C. Previously, she obtained her PhD from Washington University and worked with Dr. David Holtzman, one C2N’s scientific founders, under the Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoctoral fellowship. In that position, she assumed a comparative proteomics approach and discovered novel biomarkers for early-stage Alzheimer’s.
About C2N Diagnostics
C2N Diagnostics, LLC formed in late 2007 by scientific co-founders Drs. David Holtzman and Randall Bateman of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the Washington University Office of Technology Management, and LifeTech Research, a Maryland-based technology research and commercialization firm (www.lifetechresearch.com). C2N resides at the Center for Emerging Technologies in St. Louis. The company is developing a suite of biomarker assays and tools to assist in pre-clinical drug discovery, clinical drug development, and the early detection and assessment of progression of debilitating neurodegenerative disorders. The company’s first commercial tool, the SILK-Aß™ assay, relies on stable isotope labeling and tandem mass spectrometry for the precise measurement of the kinetics, or in vivo metabolism, of amyloid-beta – a small peptide implicated as a key mediator of Alzheimer’s disease. Other products are in development to target Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), among others. For additional information, see www.c2ndiagnostics.com or call 1-877-C2N-DIAG (1-877-226-3424).