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Chicago Research Scientists Launch Precision Biomarker Resources

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Precision provides microarray processing and data analysis services for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic researchers who use the latest methods for discovering biomarkers in their quest for new disease therapies. Precision uses the Affymetrix GeneChip® Microarray platform and is an Affymetrix Authorized Service Provider.

"Biomarker discovery is important in analyzing diseases and in predicting the performance of a drug during development, reducing uncertainties about effectiveness and safety and accelerating the preclinical process," said David B. Paul II, Ph.D., president of Precision Biomarker Resources.

"Microarrays allow researchers to analyze the effect of a drug or treatment on literally tens of thousands of genes simultaneously, enabling scientists to determine the exact mechanisms of a drug's effect on a disease," Dr. Paul added.

In addition, microarray comparisons of healthy and diseased genes yield information that can be used for more precise drug targeting and a clearer understanding of the causes of a disease, according to Eric G. Bremer, Ph.D., Precision's chief scientific officer.

"Last month, the Food and Drug Administration released a new Critical Path Opportunities report for modernizing biomedical discoveries that placed biomarker development at the top of the list, followed by streamlining clinical trial designs and bioinformatics," Dr. Bremer said. "Precision is poised to help with all three areas."

Precision builds on its principals' leadership in tumor studies and their commitment to advancing disease research. It was founded by the scientists who established and developed the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program at Children's, including Dr. Paul; Dr. Bremer; Jason Monroe, Precision's director of operations; and David George, the company's director of bioinformatics.

Dr. Bremer launched a microarray core facility at Children's in 1999 to support his tumor research and the work of other leading pediatric disease investigators. Precision team members have also conducted their own drug development.

The fifth founder is Charles C. Happ, Precision's business director, who is also board chairman of the Technology Innovation Center (TIC) incubator based in Evanston, whose alumni include Peapod Inc., IDEO, the Illinois Superconductor Corporation, and Surgical Insights.