PITTSBURGH, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Crystalplex, a Pittsburgh nanobiotechnology company and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), a partnership to put the region's life sciences industry on a fast track for growth, today announced that PLSG, through its affiliate the Pittsburgh Biomedical Development Corporation (PBDC), intends to invest $100,000 in pre- seed funds to Crystalplex, an early stage company that is developing a technology that aids in drug discovery and clinical diagnostics. The PBDC investment will be used to help the company further develop its technology which utilizes nano-sized plastic beads that label, or "bar code," a large number of different molecules within a solution, combining multiple assays or experiments into a single operation. With an exclusive worldwide license from Indiana University's Advanced Research & Technology Institute, Crystalplex expects to become the first to market with the new generation of nanosensor tests. The company was created by LaunchCyte LLC and is located within the PLSG Incubator. "Biomolecular reagents have become so essential in the quest for good health that they regularly command prices in the many thousands of dollars per drop," said Doros Platika, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the PLSG. "Crystalplex's technology utilizes much simpler and less costly instrumentation than competing markers. This leads to the need for smaller research samples, reduced labor, and improvements in diagnosis and analyses, indicating great potential for the company's future prospects." "Crystalplex is grateful for the confidence demonstrated by the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. This investment helps us continue to build value for our investors and jobs in Southwestern Pennsylvania," said Alan Seadler Ph.D. CEO of Crystalplex. This investment marks one of the first new investments made by the PBDC since 1999. In November 2003, the PLSG approved a recapitalization of the PBDC to allow for pre-seed investments in individual start-ups and early stage companies. The PBDC became affiliated with the PLSG in June 2003. Original financial support for the organization, which was incorporated in 1988, came in the form of grants primarily from regional foundations and community development organizations totaling $1.2 million. From 1991 through 1999, the PBDC had invested in 11 regional companies, exhausting available funds for new investment. By 2003, returns on those initial investments created the opportunity for PBDC to resume pre-seed investment in the region's life sciences. About Crystalplex Crystalplex Corp. is bringing nanotechnology to today's major challenges in drug discovery and clinical diagnostics. Crystalplex offers drug and medical researchers unprecedented opportunity to collect multiple results from single samples. The Crystalplex technology involves plastic beads smaller than human cells. Each bead contains tiny semiconducting nanocrystals, which are easily excited to emit visible colors. Varying colors and chemistries produce nanosensors with unique optical signatures, readily detected using commercially available equipment. These nanosensors enable researchers to study a large number of different molecules within a solution, combining multiple assays or experiments into a single operation. With an exclusive worldwide license from Indiana University's Advanced Research & Technology Institute, Crystalplex expects to become the first to market with multiplexed nanosensors. Crystalplex has received funding from LaunchCyte and Innovation Works, a Pennsylvania state-supported seed fund. About the PLSG The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse is a public/private partnership, founded by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Health System, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our regional foundation community. Together with private industry and advanced research and healthcare capabilities of our institutional partners, PLSG invests in and supports the growth of regional life sciences companies. The PLSG is focused on developing a portfolio of companies in the following industry sectors: drug discovery tools and targets, medical devices and diagnostics, tissues engineering and regenerative medicine and therapeutic strategies for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
SOURCE Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse; Crystalplex Corp.