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Chronix Biomedical Opens State-of-the-art Mass Sequencing Laboratory to Provide Medical Researchers with Personal Biomarkers in Human Disease

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Chronix Biomedical today announced that it has expanded its commercial capabilities with the opening of a fully operational sequencing laboratory in Brookings, South Dakota. The Brookings laboratory will offer sequencing services to academic and pharmaceutical researchers who wish to support their biomarker programs in diseases that are considered “orphan” or for which there is no diagnostic test currently available.

“This is terrific news for our bio industry in South Dakota and those who will take advantage of its services,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “It is one more testimony that South Dakota offers growing, emerging companies what they need – both in terms of business climate and workforce.”

Currently, Chronix is providing sequencing services to clinicians, universities, industry and government agencies for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, brain injuries and concussions, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The Company is now expanding its services to the research community studying cancers as well as rare and orphan diseases that are classified as neurologic or autoimmune disorders. New cancer studies will include lung, ovarian, pancreatic, brain, and rare cancers. Neurologic disorder studies will include Gulf War Illnesses, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease. Autoimmune disorder studies will include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematous, amyloidosis and type I diabetes.

“Next Generation Sequencing is the game changing technology we need to provide Next Generation Healthcare,” said Dr. Howard Urnovitz, CEO of Chronix Biomedical. “Our proprietary approach to identifying previously unknown and undetected biomarkers is an important new application that detects active disease as opposed to detecting the risk of disease. The technology is so powerful that these biomarkers focus on each individual’s unique changes.”

The laboratory was opened with assistance from the First Bank & Trust of Brookings, South Dakota (FB&T) and the Area Development Corporation of Brookings, South Dakota (ADC). “We are happy to announce the opening of our first commercial mass sequencing facility in Brookings where we have worked closely with the South Dakota State University research community,” said Senior Vice-President of Finance and Administration John DiPietro. “The financial support from FB&T and ADC highlights the aggressive initiatives by these organizations to bring biotechnology companies to South Dakota. In addition the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has been key in providing us with other financing alternatives available and was instrumental in our establishment of this laboratory. We anticipate that the success of this first specialty laboratory in Brookings will enable us to launch additional satellite sequencing facilities in collaboration with major research cancer centers around the country.”

Van Fishback, Vice Chairman of FB&T commented, “I have been following the progress of Chronix for several years and was always excited about their groundbreaking technology. When we realized we had the opportunity to attract them to Brookings we were pleased to assist the Company in establishing their sequencing laboratory. Upon entering their lab I was proud to witness the operation of the world’s most advanced genome sequencer as it analyzed cancer specimens, and provided the critical data necessary to develop personal biomarkers which could eventually save lives.”

“Chronix Biomedical represents an important addition to Brookings South Dakota’s growing human and animal health industry clusters,” said Al Heuton, Executive Director of Brookings Economic Development Corporation. “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with, and support, Chronix during the development phase of this novel process and look forward to the development of additional partnerships as their research and service capabilities expand. The location of Chronix in Brookings is a result of partnership opportunities that have been developed with the Brookings community, South Dakota State University, and the State of South Dakota.”

Kevin Kephart, Vice President for Research at South Dakota State University commented, “I am extremely pleased that Chronix decided to locate their sequencing laboratory in Brookings, and fully expect their breakthrough technology will open the door to provide greater insight into the underlying causes of many mysterious and orphan diseases. We have been working with Chronix for several years and have been pleased to see their technology and applications develop from use in production animal diseases into human diseases. Their progress has been tremendous in the use of sequencers to provide valuable medical information in the area of personalized medicine.”

Source: Chronix Biomedical