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
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.