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The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Partners with Genisphere to Develop Rapid, High-Throughput Allergy Test

HATFIELD, Pa -
January 31, 2013 -

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Genisphere have agreed to jointly develop a new allergy test that will quickly and effectively characterize patients’ food allergies. The peptide-bead-based test will be high-throughput, semi-automatic and accurate, surpassing the reliability of current allergy-testing methods. The partnership was established through Mount Sinai’s Blue Mountain Technologies, a program that encourages the commercialization of novel research reagents, diagnostics and therapeutics based on Icahn School of Medicine research.

Hugh Sampson, MD, Chief of the Division of Allergy & Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics and Dean for Translational Biomedical Research at the Icahn School of Medicine, and his laboratory, will team with Genisphere to adapt existing allergy tests to the specifications laid out under this new agreement. The new allergy test seeks to avoid reproducibility limitations and will generate “food allergy panels” for various food allergens.

“We look forward to working with Genisphere on these novel assays that should help the clinician better diagnose and counsel food allergic patients,” said Dr. Sampson. “Mount Sinai is proud of Dr. Sampson and his team for their continued progress in finding solutions to help patients who suffer from food allergies,” stated Dennis Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs for The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Partnering with Genisphere promotes the culture of innovation and collaboration needed to expedite treatments to patients locally and around the world.”

At Mount Sinai, Dr. Sampson’s research interests have focused on food-allergic disorders, including characterization of food allergens and novel immunotherapeutic strategies (recombinant-engineered protein, plasmid DNA, and peptide) for treating food allergies. His research has been funded by a number of grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private foundations. He is also the primary investigator on the NIH-sponsored Consortium of Food Allergy research, a group that was established to conduct multi-center clinical trials, observational studies, mechanistic studies and basic research towards further understanding of the best possible treatment approaches for food allergies.

Genisphere, an established life science and diagnostic technology leader, has scientific and commercial interest in developing biomarker signatures for use in diagnostics or other personalized medical applications. "We are delighted to continue our collaborative partnership with Dr. Sampson and the accomplished scientists at Mount Sinai to adapt the peptide panels into a rapid test that can benefit millions of people who suffer from allergies to various foods," said Robert Getts, PhD, Chief Science Officer of Genisphere.

About Mount Sinai Technology and Business Development

The Office of Technology and Business Development (OTBD), as part of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, facilitates the transfer of discovery from the laboratory to the marketplace, acting as the interface with commercial entities.

OTBD is responsible for the full spectrum of commercialization activities required to bring the Icahn School of Medicine’s inventions to life. These activities include evaluating, patenting, marketing, and licensing new technologies, while also negotiating various agreements for sponsored research, material transfer, and confidentiality. Blue Mountain Technologies is an OTBD program to enhance distribution of, and product development based on, Mount Sinai’s growing portfolio of molecular diagnostic reagents.

For more information on OTBD, visit: http://www.otbd.org
For more information on Blue Mountain Technologies, visit: http://www.otbd.org/bluemountain

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Established in 1968, the Icahn School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States, and is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 14th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and by U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.

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Mount Sinai Press Office

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About Genisphere

Genisphere LLC is the provider of the 3DNA® platform for targeted drug delivery. 3DNA® is a nanoscale, multivalent scaffold made from proprietary, synthetic DNA formed in a flexible, branched structure. 3DNA® nanocarriers are engineered and crosslinked to form a stable architecture while maintaining the biocompatibility of the nucleic acid building blocks, and demonstrate efficacy and safety with a variety of drug cargos across multiple indications. Genisphere's technology is IP-protected and fully customizable to deliver small molecules, biologics, and nucleic acids with precise specificity enabled by multivalent targeting via antibodies, peptides and other molecular entities. Genisphere leverages a collaborative model to advance its 3DNA® drug delivery platform, and seeks additional partnerships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to improve efficacy and reduce toxicity. Genisphere is also advancing its own lead programs based on 3DNA® nanotechnology. For more information, please visit http://genisphere.com.

For more information contact:

Bob Getts
CSO, Genisphere