Company Developing Multiple-Disease Barcode Diagnostics
COLLEGE PARK, Md., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prognosys LLC (www.prognosysinc.com), a company developing rapid, multiplexed diagnostics for multiple diseases, has joined the University of Maryland's Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) Technology Advancement Program (TAP) incubator, institute officials announce today.
One of the company's first products, supported by a $100K phase 1 contract from the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, is a test for multiple cardiovascular diseases built on Prognosys' proprietary barcode platform.
The product is designed to rapidly and economically diagnose patients with acute cardiovascular diseases in emergency rooms, enabling physicians to make quick decisions based upon whether a patient tests for acute vascular clots, deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary emboli, or potentially acute coronary syndrome.
"When a person goes to a hospital with chest pain, the triage nurse or physician may initially have no idea what a patient has," says Kenneth Gabriel, president of Prognosys. "A blood sample is taken and shipped to the lab, where technicians work to process samples, but some tests can take up to two days for results, and in some cases patients die. Our test can be done in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, with results in as little as ten minutes."
Prognosys' patent-pending technology involves embedding multiple sensors on a barcode that react to certain indicators and show results when scanned with a standard bar code reader. Results are then sent through the company's software to a Web-based portal accessible by nurses and physicians or to a handheld device.
Prognosys plans to expand its barcode sensors to additional medical and other markets. The company's barcodes can be equipped with biological, chemical, physical and intelligence-gathering related sensors, as well as tracking devices and medical monitors, according to Gabriel.
"We can test for substances such as cocaine," says Gabriel. "We can test for temperature, radiation, humidity, pressure, vibration, and lethal substances such as anthrax. Prognosys' researchers are also working on quantitative as well as qualitative tests that don't just tell you when a substance is present; they also measure how much of it is there. This type of test is critical for monitoring the progress of disease and general treatment."
A privately funded company, Prognosys was founded in February 2007, by Gabriel and Dr. Marc H. Cohen. Dr. Gabriel is affiliated with the A. James Clark School of Engineering's department of electrical and computer engineering and an adjunct faculty member in the Robert H. Smith School of Business' department of management and organization. Prognosys Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Marc Cohen is an assistant research scientist in the Institute for Systems Research in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.
Prognosys' technology was developed outside of the university.
Gabriel and Cohen relocated Prognosys to the University of Maryland to collaborate with its world-class faculty and student researchers.
"We liked the fact that it is co-located with bright people," says Gabriel. "It's not just the talent but the diversity of talent -- people in engineering, biomedical applications, and environmental health. Working with people in these fields increases the chances our proposals will be winning ones, which translates to faster diagnostics for medical and other industries."
"Our tests buy physicians time and in some cases buy patients life," says Gabriel.
About Mtech's Technology Advancement Program (TAP) (www.tap.umd.edu)
For over 20 years, TAP has helped entrepreneurs build some of the most successful technology companies in the mid-Atlantic region. TAP's staff is comprised of seasoned veterans of startups and venture capital firms who provide business advice and support, market intelligence, introductions, access to funding and other critical assistance that can accelerate the growth of technology ventures. TAP offers furnished offices and flexible lab space as well as a multitude of other benefits and services that can only be found at a technology business incubator situated right on the campus of one of the nation's top public universities, the University of Maryland. TAP was the first technology business incubator in the state of Maryland and is the birthplace of two of Maryland's billion dollar companies: Gaithersburg-based Digene Corporation (now part of Qiagen) and Columbia-based Martek Biosciences.
About Prognosys LLC (www.prognosysinc.com)
Prognosys LLC is a small, high-technology business with offices and laboratories located in College Park, Md. The firm is focused on developing and networking biological, chemical, physical and intelligence sensors, tracking devices, patient healthcare monitors and devices, and wireless communication. The company was launched in 2007 and has generated strong interest in biomedical, defense, supply chain, and security markets.
SOURCE University of Maryland