Prolias Acquires Commercial Stage microRNA Diagnostic Portfolio from Cornell University
News Jun 29, 2012
Prolias Technologies, Inc. has announced that it has licensed from Cornell University a portfolio of intellectual property in the area of microRNA diagnostics developed at the Weill Cornell Medical College.
The first series of intellectual property includes a panel that accurately differentiates malignant from benign indeterminate thyroid nodules.
Prolias will commercially launch this microRNA panel, branded THYMIRA™, in the coming months. In addition to the THYMIRA™ panel, Prolias Technologies has also licensed a sophisticated proprietary computational algorithm to interpret results with a high level of confidence.
“Information from the THYMIRA™ panel will help physicians dramatically reduce unnecessary surgeries on indeterminate thyroid nodules,” said Joe Hernandez, Executive Chairman of Prolias Technologies.
Hernandez continued, “The prospective data of this highly sensitive and specific test, which was published in Clinical Cancer Research, is very compelling and we look forward to making it available to clinicians and patients.”
Thyroid nodules are common in adults. There are over 450,000 thyroid nodule biopsies performed per year in the US to determine whether these nodules are cancerous; however, 30% of nodules biopsied are classified as “indeterminate” requiring invasive surgery and broader pathology to complete a diagnosis.
Unfortunately, for both patients and payors, 75% of these surgically affected nodules are ultimately classified as benign. THYMIRA™ helps resolve this important clinical question without surgery.
This panel was developed by Drs. Thomas Fahey III, Xavier Keutgen and Rasa Zarnegar of Weill Cornell’s Department of Surgery and by Dr. Olivier Elemento from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.
Prolias Technologies has also licensed a microRNA technology called ARMIRA™ to non-invasively assess whether a transplanted kidney is being rejected.
The ARMIRA™ technology was published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences from the laboratory of Dr. Manikkam Suthanthiran, Chief of Nephrology & Hypertension at Weill Cornell.
The ARMIRA™ technology offers an alternative to invasive and often late diagnosis of rejection via biopsies.
It is estimated that there are 140,000 patients in the US with transplanted kidneys and over 17,000 new patients receiving kidney transplants per year.
It is imperative that these patients get monitored with non-invasive tests that have greater lead times to adjust therapy and potentially save the transplanted organ.
“We are very pleased that Prolias Technologies is going to make these important diagnostic tests available to patients, and we look forward to working with the company and its seasoned management team,” stated Dr. Brian Kelly, Director of the New York City office of Cornell’s Center for Technology, Enterprise and Commercialization which manages technology developed at the Weill Cornell Medical College.