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Apr 25, 2015 9:29 AM ET

Archived: Genome Profiling, LLC (GenPro): Better Health by Decoding the Epigenome

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 25, 2015

Genome Profiling, LLC (GenPro)

Better Health by Decoding the Epigenome

Introducing Genome Profiling LLC (GenPro), the groundbreaking new bioinformatics company that’s introducing novel, state-of-the-art genome-analysis technology to revolutionize the way we treat, diagnose, and predict chronic disease.

Poised to exploit a new rapidly growing revolutionary area of scientific research in disease prediction and treatment called epigenetics, GenPro’s analytical software can read subtle changes in a patient’s epigenetic makeup. The software then statistically isolates changes that function as biomarkers that can help predict, diagnose and treat diseases – including cancer and neuro-degenerative and autoimmune disorders – faster, more accurately, and more affordably than ever before.

Surrounding our genome is a chemical network called the epigenome. The epigenome is also inherited, but unlike our genes, the epigenome does change. The food we eat, the stress we experience, the substances we are exposed to – these and other environmental factors can create subtle shifts in our epigenome that have a very real, physical impact on our health and well-being, changing our metabolism, affecting our mood or behavior, and even triggering disease.

Somewhere locked away in the human epigenome is the answer to some of medicine’s most puzzling and persistent questions: Why do some people within a family develop Parkinson’s disease while others do not? Why do certain cancer treatments work for some people and not for others?

But far more important than the potential for epigenetics to answer these questions on a theoretical level are its practical applications for transforming patient diagnosis and care. Using a state-of-the-art genome-analysis technique called methylation profiling, GenPro’s unique ability to read a patient’s epigenome from standard next generation sequencing (NGS) data and use what we find to more effectively diagnose, treat, and predict the onset of some of mankind’s most devastating and debilitating diseases is what distinguishes us…. GenPro is leading the way and changing the game.

Central to GenPro’s strategy and our most important competitive advantage is our ability to drive huge transformational improvements across the entire NGS value chain. From reducing the cost, time, and complexity of preparing genomic DNA (gDNA) for sequencing to delivering highly sensitive and accurate quantitative whole-genome methylation profiles and novel epigenetic biomarkers, GenPro’s private-cloud-based analytical services enable game-changing improvements in personalized disease prediction, diagnosis and treatment.

The technologies at the heart of our service offering are the GenPro gDNA prep kit and GenPro Analytics software. As the name implies, the GenPro gDNA prep kit prepares patient gDNA samples submitted for next-generation sequencing. GenPro Analytics™ is our specialized, proprietary software platform that uses genome-wide methylation profiling to provide never-before-seen insight into the human epigenome.

The key to the GenPro advantage is the tight integration of the GenPro gDNA prep kit with the GenPro Analytics™ software algorithms. The GenPro gDNA prep kit includes restriction enzymes targeted to specific disease states, and the GenPro Analytics algorithms that produce the methylation profiles are matched precisely to these enzymes. The result is unequalled quantitative methylation sensitivity and accuracy at all CpG sites across the entire genome, with methylation profiles derived from a very small, 1 microgram gDNA sample.

Combining the GenPro gDNA prep protocol with GenPro Analytics™ is far superior to the bisulfite oxidation gDNA prep approach used today. Our integrated technology:

  • Is simpler
  • Does not destroy any DNA
  • Delivers all the whole-genome-sequencing data required for variant analyses;
  • Is less expensive
  • Delivers unequalled quantitative methylation sensitivity and accuracy at all CpG sites
  • Requires only one NGS run, not two (half the cost)

As a result of these advances, researchers have access to highly sensitive, accurate, and comprehensive quantified methylation profiles for use in their own multivariate statistical analyses at a fraction of the cost of currently employed technologies. But more important, GenPro Analytics quantified methylation profiles enable previously unachievable downstream value generated by the discovery of novel epigenetic biomarkers that directly impact health improvements.

NGS data is leading the way to the future of diagnostics and personalized medicine

GenPro’s epigenetic analysis results provide researchers and clinicians with actionable information so they can discover and implement new more effective diagnostics, and treatment therapies faster and with greater confidence in decision making. By partnering with leading clinical, drug development, and research programs, we envision the GenPro Analytics™ platform becoming an established tool and data source used to develop and validate epigenetic biomarkers. A growing portfolio of biomarkers and an internal database of epigenetic profiles will serve as a high-value, go-to resource for identifying pre-onset stages of diseases, patient stratification for drug responsiveness, therapeutic recovery monitoring, and prognostic assessments of future health risks. GenPro aspires to provide the technological platform for transforming epigenetic DNA methylation data into the preferred knowledgebase for personalized health care and wellness management.  

Both our gDNA prep kit and our GenPro Analytics™ software quickly, easily, and seamlessly snap into and integrate with current NGS technologies, workflows, and pipelines. Customers can access GenPro’s private cloud-based services online, including placing orders and receiving and viewing analytical results.

As shown in the diagram below, customers initiate the analysis process by submitting to GenPro a 1-microgram gDNA sample extracted from a patient’s blood, body fluid or tissue. The GenPro gDNA prep kit is used to prepare the sample for next-generation sequencing. When DNA sequencing is complete, The GenPro Analytics™ software reads the patient’s epigenome from the NGS data and produces a quantitated methylation profile. Customers can use this methylation profile for their own statistical analysis, if desired.

But the real power of GenPro’s offering lies in the next steps. We can use GenPro Analytics to rapidly dissect, quantify, and pinpoint subtle changes in epigenetic DNA methylation patterns to characterize novel epigenetic biomarkers and then package those biomarkers as diagnostics to predict the onset of disease and assess therapeutic response in patients. Scientists and medical professionals can use the GenPro Analytics™ findings to predict, diagnose and monitor disease likelihood and progression in individuals with more sensitivity, specificity and cost-effectiveness than any other approach available today.

The result: more timely, accurate diagnosis and more personalized treatment therapies for chronic and life-threatening diseases including cancer, neuro-degenerative and autoimmune disorders, just to name a few.

GenPro Applications

Predicting, detecting and monitoring progression of disease

Identifying appropriate patient populations for clinical trials

Making new diagnostic and therapeutic discoveries

Monitoring therapeutic efficacy

Here’s just one example of the transformative impact GenPro’s technology could have on a human scale:

Pete’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 60. He died 10 years later from associated complications.

Pete is now 55, and worries that he, too, has Parkinson’s disease, though he hasn’t yet shown any of the symptoms that typically lead to a diagnosis. There is some evidence that Parkinsons is at least partially genetic, but family history alone isn’t enough to predict the disease with any certainty. However, we expect there are specific epigenetic biomarkers that GenPro Analytics™ can accurately identify to predict the onset of the disease.

Doctors analyze Pete’s epigenome using the GenPro Analytics™ platform. The analysis yields results that are strongly indicative of the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. Doctors are able to start treating Pete for the disease, in all likelihood years before they would have been able to detect it with traditional diagnostic methods.

2014 was a tremendous year for the GenPro team, and all signs point to an even bigger year to come in 2015. Here’s a quick overview of just some of the milestones we achieved in 2014:

Negotiated an exclusive worldwide license agreement with the University of Delaware for all of our co-founder Dr. Marsh’s epigenetic profiling algorithms and software.

Assembled a world-class board of advisors who will help guide the GenPro vision, both strategically and, ultimately, commercially.

Performed an independent market survey and analysis to help guide our product development, positioning, pricing, messaging, and go-to-market decisions, and to gauge and prioritize market interest in GenPro’s planned capabilities.

Closed and performed two collaborative proof-of-value (POV) beta projects demonstrating the power, scientific credibility and potential of GenPro Analytics™.

Developed a pipeline of POV targets that GenPro is pursuing in 2015, either as GenPro-funded projects or supported by paying customers

Began architecting and initiating the early development of the GenPro Analytics™ platform, with enough functionality completed to successfully enable one POV per month by Q4 2014

Up next for GenPro: Completing development of the GenPro Analytics™ platform. Then it’s time to introduce GenPro’s revolutionary technology to the market and the world. For more information about how you can be part of the GenPro vision today, please request access to the Business Plan page of this profile!

Jeb Connor, Executive Chairman and Co-founder
For more than 25 years Jeb served as CEO and Chairman of several investor-backed software, life-science technology, and information technology companies, which he led through successful start-ups, capitalizations, growth phases, and exit outcomes. Prior to this, Jeb spent 12 years in successful sales, sales management, marketing management, and general management leadership roles with Hewlett-Packard’s Scientific instrumentation and Software Divisions (now Agilent Technologies).

Jeb has this to say about his role at GenPro:

“Several things are fueling my inspiration to start and lead GenPro:

Helping my co-founder and business partner in GenPro realize his vision for his technology to be widely adopted and successfully helping people and their loved ones to overcome health adversity and enjoy better lives would be special;

Being regularly associated with, learning from, and leading a growing team of innovative, brilliant, passionate, savvy, competent and fun people who want to be a part of a successful stimulating business with a strong social and financial purpose would be rewarding in many dimensions; and

Drawing upon my experiences, expertise and relationships to contribute to the creation of a valuable company that will directly and soon improve chronic and life-threatening health challenges that have directly afflicted my family, dear friends and so many other people is as actualizing and inspiring as it gets.”

Adam Marsh, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer and Co-founder
Dr. Marsh is the visionary, inventor and leader of GenPro’s core IP and computational capabilities. He also plays an active role in supporting sales and client engagements. Dr. Marsh invented GenPro’s underlying software technology while a faculty member in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware. His primary research efforts focused on epigenetic environmental imprinting in animals living in extreme environments (polar seas, deep oceans). His quantitative epigenetic profiling algorithm work started more than 10 years ago as an innovation of necessity to understand how invertebrate genomes thrived from generation to generation under the polar sea ice in Antarctica. Dr. Marsh is one of the earliest pioneers of computational epigenetics. The quantitative sensitivity and genome-wide breadth of his approach is the key to GenPro Analytics™.

Mort Goldman, Chief Technology Officer
Mort Goldman leads the end-to-end development of the GenPro Analytics™ platform. He is responsible for translating Dr.Marsh’s research innovations into a scalable, repeatable execution environment that operates in a SaaS platform. Prior to joining GenPro, Mort led multiple information technology companies to successful exits. He has led teams to apply advanced technology to deliver successful products and business solutions across a wide range of industries and technology platforms, including life science.

Jim Keller, Chief Financial Officer
Jim Keller leads all finance and administrative functions. Jim is a proven hands on Chief Financial Officer with over 30 years of experience providing financial, administrative and strategic leadership to global software, consulting, distribution, manufacturing and public accounting firms and numerous investor-backed start-ups. He contributes a broad skill set of running financial, accounting, strategic planning, IT, legal, HR and administrative functions. He is experienced at equity financing strategies with institutional investors and lending institutions to finance growth and acquisition activity and major business and corporate development transactions including the sale of five companies resulting in successful outcomes for institutional investors.

Irene Rombel, PhD, MBA: Science and Business Strategy Advisor
Dr. Rombel’s expertise is strategic planning, business development, investment and M&A diligence, including technology, IP, and fundamental company analysis in the biomedical field spanning biotechnology, diagnostics and medical devices. Dr. Rombel has been the founder and managing director of Biomedical Intelligence LLC since April 2008, providing consulting services to companies, academic institutions and investors.

James Serum, PhD: Science and Business Strategy Advisor
Dr. Serum is formerly vice president of R&D at Agilent and founder of Agilent’s bio-science business, Jim brings 43 years of experience in analytical diagnostics as a scientist, entrepreneur, VC partner and federal science and technology policy advisor engaged with NAS and NIST. He served on the board of directors of numerous emerging technology companies at various stages of commercial development.

Tracy Shickel: Business Development and Strategy Advisor
Tracy Shickel brings over 20 years in commercial operations leadership roles in life science ventures within large companies including DuPont, Monsanto, W.L. Gore and Associates, and FMC Corporation. She is presently CEO of GreenKite Marketing, a strategic marketing consultancy to life science technology companies.

Ian Wright, CBiol, MBS: Science and Business Strategy Advisor
Ian Wright recently moved from Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics where he was VP, head of strategic innovation, to the position of CEO of the Advanced Clinical Bio-Systems Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His career spans over 30 years in life science commercialization and technology development.


Contact Information:

Jeb Connor
Adam Marsh
Mort Goldman
Jim Keller

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