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Announced shortly after FDA guidance on pharmacogenomic data submission, funding will help Gentris deliver on the promise of personalized medicine
MORRISVILLE, NC (April 27, 2005) -- Gentris Corporation today announced it closed a $5 million funding round with Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. ("Mitsui USA") The investment solidifies Gentris' position as a leader in the emerging field of applied clinical pharmacogenomic services and diagnostic product solutions. Through its innovative application of pharmacogenomics, Gentris helps pharmaceutical companies determine which patients are likely to respond to certain drugs according to their unique genetic makeup.
The series C round of funding occurred one month after the Food and Drug Administration issued guidance on pharmacogenomic data submissions (http://www.fda.gov/cber/gdlns/pharmdtasub.pdf). The guidance acknowledges that pharmacogenomic tests can predict the possibility of side effects and determine appropriate dosage levels. The FDA envisions that pharmaceutical companies will use pharmacogenomic tests to support drug development and guide therapy recommendations for products on the market. This likely will mean that more pharmaceutical companies will incorporate pharmacogenomic data in their submissions to the FDA.
The FDA guidance aligns well with Gentris' business. "Gentris already performs drug metabolism and safety tests like the ones the FDA is recommending," said Michael Murphy, president and CEO of Gentris. "These tests improve patient safety by identifying at-risk patients. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies can conduct more efficient trials by eliminating the population that won't respond well to the drug. This selective process--driven by science--will get drugs to market faster and into the hands of patients who will benefit most from them."
The combination of agency action and Gentris' business model appealed to Mitsui USA. "The FDA's guidance comes at a critical time for the pharmaceutical industry," said Yoshi Maruoka, SVP, Organic Chemicals Division, Mitsui USA, who supervises the life science business unit. "We believe Gentris' products and services will lead the market in pharmacogenomics, which we believe will make new drugs safer and more effective."
In addition, the funding will allow Gentris to proceed with its plan to develop and distribute pharmacogenomic diagnostic testing kits. Hospitals and doctors will use these kits at the point of care to determine how a patient will respond to a drug. "Personalized medicine is coming faster than people realize," Murphy said.
About Gentris Corporation
Gentris Corporation is a leading global provider of applied clinical pharmacogenomic services and diagnostic product solutions. As pioneers in the field of pharmacogenomics, Gentris helps pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations effectively integrate pharmacogenomics into their drug development programs to deliver safer, more effective compounds to the market sooner. Gentris is developing diagnostic test kits and validated reference controls that will bring the promise of personalized medicine to physicians and patients, which will enhance patient management, improve patients' response to therapy and revolutionize medicine through pharmacogenomics. For additional information, please visit www.gentries.com
About Mitsui USA
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. (Mitsui USA), incorporated in 1966 in New York, is a leading international trading house with an extensive global network. Headquartered in New York City, it has 10 local offices and over 200 subsidiaries and affiliated companies across the U.S. Beyond traditional trading, the Company's newer emphasis is on project development, investment and innovative services capabilities. Mitsui USA's Organic Chemicals Division oversees strategic investments in healthcare and life science businesses, including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, nutraceuticals and medical services. Aspiring to be "Your Global Business Partner," Mitsui USA endeavors to solve problems and create value now and for tomorrow. For more information, visit www.mitsui.com.