Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U Maryland start-up develops non-invasive diagnostic to detect inflammatory bowel disease


By David Schwartz
Published: May 13th, 2015

University of Maryland (UM) Ventures, the university’s commercialization arm, has licensed diagnostics technology to detect inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) to UM spinoff Biomecite Diagnostics, LLC.

Developed by Drs. Florian Fricke and James White, previously of the UM-Baltimore (UMB) School of Medicine’s Intitute for Genome Sciences (IGS), the technology explores distinctive genomic variances in the populations of bacteria or microbiome found in the human gut to diagnose the two major IBDs, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).

Current methods to diagnose UC and CD include invasive procedures such as endoscopies and colonoscopies, and clinicians are challenged to subjectively interpret patients’ symptoms. Biomecite’s technology, part of the rapidly expanding field of microbiome-based diagnostics, analyzes genetic sequences directly from the stool samples of patients, making for a more efficient, cost-effective, and less invasive procedure than what is currently available.

“Biomecite Diagnostics is a particularly exciting UMB start-up,” says Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, chief commercialization officer at UM Ventures. “Biomecite has built a very strong scientific and management team with a well-established track record, and has already made significant progress on the development of relationships with several key partners to enable technology commercialization.”

James White serves as president of Biomecite, while serial entrepreneur and president of Innovative Tech Ventures Gerard Eldering acts as CEO. The start-up has received funding from the Maryland Innovation Intiative (MII) launched by the Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), an independent organization that provides assistance and seed funding for fledgling start-ups in Maryland’s innovation economy.

Source: PR Newswire

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