HOTSTOCKS on 11 Oct 2000 05:23:36 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]


One of a few emerging companies invited to the European Biotech Conference:

 Dnaprint (DNAP) is an emerging biotech company and is trading under $1 !!!

1) CEO (Dr. Tony Frudakis) Lead scientist for Corixa starts his own company a 
   few months ago
2) Company is formed by a reverse merger of a pinksheet company

3) DNAP has already completed the accounting to get off the pinksheets and 
   should be listed on the OTCBB soon.

4) Dr. Frudakis was  responsible for a patent that sold for $54,000,000 to 
   Smith Kline Beecham while he was at Corixa.
5) Corixa's stock has gone from 14 Cents a few years ago to 50 Dollars today.
6) According to the Barron's article (9/25/00 pg 52), Dnaprint is in the late stages of forming 
   strategic alliances with major companies.


DNAPrint genomics (Pink Sheets: DNAP), a cutting-edge, genomics company based in Sarasota, Florida, is working to revolutionize the way medicine is practiced by offering clinicians the ability to “customize” the way they prescribe drugs.

Imagine being diagnosed with a disease.  Your doctor recommends prescription drug therapy, of which there are several choices on the market.  But which one is best for you?  Doctors know that you could experience different side effects to any one of the prescription medications.  But currently prescription drugs are tested on general population groups, making drug reactivity on individuals highly speculative.

Basically, you’re a human guinea pig.  You are put on a new prescription drug, and often are required to return one month later for a follow up blood test to make sure the new drug has not damaged your liver.  For example: it is no secret that your liver could be damaged by the use, misuse or overuse of certain pharmaceutical products, and this is significant because the quality of your liver function and the state of health of your liver affects every biological healing process, and will adversely promote the advancement of disease if over-challenged or damaged.  

However, if your doctor practices “personalized medicine,” he/she simply logs onto a secure internet database to compare your DNA profile (obtained non-invasively in the doctor’s office with a cotton swab of the cells on the inside of your cheek) to a “recognized pattern” of drug interactivity, with the increased likelihood that the individual will have a positive response to the drugs being prescribed with less side effects and less damage to the liver.

“Personalized medicine” will allow doctors to subscribe to a service, via the internet, which offers the ability to match an individual’s genetic make-up to a recognized genetic pattern that is shared by individuals with a certain disease.  DNAPrint genomics expects to be the first company to offer this service to pharmaceutical companies and doctors.

They are doing this by building their own database, called the PhenomeÔ database.  Unlike the public or government genome database that comes from healthy donors, the PhenomeTM database focuses on many of the most “important” human drug metabolism and disease genes whose function is compromised in certain individuals who show drug side-effects or neoplastic disease (abnormal tissue growth).  

By focusing on these several hundred “important” human genes as opposed to the entire human genome (over 100,000 genes), DNAPrint genomics is developing a database that contains more high-quality, usable genetic material than that which is in the public database.  This will allow DNAPrint genomics the ability to execute targeted scanning searches, as an alternative to systematic genome-wide scanning.  Not only will this enable the company to conduct detailed studies, it will allow them to begin their studies well in advance of those organizations awaiting the completion of the public database.

The PhenomeTM database recently recorded its 2000th entry, and is scheduled to add its 5000th entry later this year.  DNAPrint genomics is in the process of securing arrangements with clinics and hospitals to obtain the information and patient specimens needed to build the database and the associations between people with known diseases taking specific drugs.

As many of the country’s 1300 biotech companies rush to produce new disease-fighting treatments using the information from the recently completed human genome project, DNAPrint genomics is focusing on the potential of existing drugs by combining their highly-concentrated genetic database and highly specialized mathematical modeling.

The system uses a variety of innovative mathematical models and programming techniques, which requires the merging of advanced mathematical algorithms, biological science, fuzzy-logic computer science and artificial intelligence techniques.

Dr. Tony Frudakis, DNAPrint genomics’ CEO/Chief Scientific Officer, has hired two renowned mathematicians, Myung Ho Kim, PhD, and Venkateswarlu Kondragunta, PhD, and is in the process of hiring a third, to assemble what he calls the top bio-informatics team in the world.

“There are only a handful of people in the world with the abilities of our bio-informatics department,” says Dr. Frudakis, speaking of his team’s ability to combine the high-level skills required to accomplish the Company’s business plan.

Currently, there are only 20-30 biotech firms working in the area of “personalized medicine,” and only a few that have the ability to combine the three components of mathematics, biology, and computer science.  “A lot of the firms have the science, but the math is missing,” says Craig Hall, Director of Corporate Analysis at Tampa Bay Financial, the venture capital firm that signed a significant funding agreement with DNAprint genomics in July, 2000.

Of the handful of firms with the mathematical ability, only DNAPrint genomics is focused solely on applying its informatics platform to real-world pharmacogenomic study.

Dr. Frudakis describes pharmacogenomics as an offshoot of pharmacogenetics, which studies a drug’s reactivity using simple Mendelian genetics laws.  The brand new field of pharmacogenomics is the study of a drug’s reactivity using complex computations in order to find a “recognized pattern.”

Pharmacogenomics could have a dramatic impact on overall health care costs in the future.  By having access to pharmacogenomics data, pharmaceutical companies can focus their clinical trials on segments of the population that are genetically receptive to the treatment.  Experimental drugs can be targeted to individuals of a particular genetic makeup, and genetic variations shown to underlie a poor-response to a trial drug could be used as a basis for eliminating the non-responding segment of the trial population from the study.  In this way, pharmaceutical companies can reduce drug trial failures and the costs associated with them.

Not only is Dr. Frudakis bringing together the top bioinformatics minds in the world, he is also assembling a top-notch Scientific Advisory Board to assist the Company in the execution of its business model.  The recent addition of Jose Arena, M.D., P.H.D., and currently the Director of Translational Research at the Familial Ovarian Cancer Center, Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, will greatly enhance the Company’s reach and expertise in the field of medical genetics.

DNAPrint genomics is also amassing an impressive collection of state-of-the-art robotic tools needed to analyze and interpret this data.  The company’s most recent purchase, an SNPStream machine, will allow DNAprint genomics to validate their software’s ability to recognize specific genetic patterns.

The company recently relocated its laboratory and offices to a much larger facility in Sarasota, Florida, to provide for growth and acquisition, and to accommodate the new equipment.

Dr. Frudakis thinks DNAPrint genomics is poised to stake a claim in the biotech industry by becoming the first company to practice human genetics on a systems-based holistic approach, using truly innovative and revolutionary ideas on how to find a genetic pattern.  

The total market just for bioinformatics (the computer tools and databases genomic research depend on) could exceed $2 billion within five years, according to a recent study by Oscar Gruss & Son, Inc., an investment and merchant bank.

Written by: Amy Goddard.  Amy is a freelance journalist  in Dallas, TX.  

Nettime-bold mailing list