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David H. Murdock Research Institute Assumes Control of the Immune Tolerance Institute and Establishes a State of the Art Human Immune Monitoring Laboratory for Biomarker Discovery and Development
Date:6/9/2011

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) today announced the acquisition of the Immune Tolerance Institute, Inc. (ITI) as a next step in the continued growth of the Institute, located on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC. Driven by a mission to accelerate the discovery and development of breakthrough treatments for the range of immune-related diseases, the DHMRI provides integrated, state-of-the-art genomic, cellular, proteomic and bioinformatics technology platforms as a major resource for a range of academic and industry partners undertaking both preclinical and clinical research. By acquiring ITI, DHMRI is enhancing its already comprehensive and unique set of collocated capabilities to accelerate the discovery of novel immunomodulatory therapies and of the corresponding biomarkers necessary for their effective translation into medical practice.

Biomarkers can help to better predict the course of disease progression, the likelihood of an individual's response to diet or therapeutic intervention, as well as serving as surrogate endpoints of mechanism, efficacy, and safety.  Indeed, biomarkers were cited in the FDA's Critical Path Opportunities Report as one of the most critical areas for improving the quality, success rate, development time and cost effectiveness of medicine development. Equivalent bioanalytical approaches are becoming increasingly applied in the agricultural and nutritional areas to provide an objective scientific assessment of both the dietary composition of the foods and their functional effects on the immune and other physiological systems.  

"Advancing immune science will lead to new approaches to investigate the biological mechanisms of disease and functional properties of foods to better determine and predict the efficacy and safety of emerging products.   Such efforts have the potential to benefit human health and disease management and reverse the recent trends that have led to higher costs of health care and slowed the pace of new treatment development," said Mike Luther of the DHMRI.  "The acquisition of ITI will allow us to extend the DHMRI's capabilities even further into the pre-clinical and clinical settings, and thus provide increasingly integrated solutions from discovery into development, ultimately improving the health of patients and consumers alike."

About the DHMRI

 Established as a nonprofit organization through a private grant by David H. Murdock, the DHMRI is a catalyst in the development of the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) as a world class research facility. Research is performed with academic and industry partners to understand the mechanistic basis of diseases, to support the development of medicinal or nutritional intervention therapies and to identify potential biomarkers to accelerate the progression of those discoveries into medical practice. The DHMRI's state-of-the-art technologies include diverse, complementary and integrated platforms under one roof to provide unprecedented bioanalytical capabilities, including next-generation genetics and genomics, advanced characterization of proteins and metabolites ,.  In addition, the assessment of cellular structure and function using cutting-edge confocal imaging complimented by interventional studies in various in vivo settings. With the integration of the Immune Tolerance Institute, the Institute is now supporting numerous clinical trials of immunomodulatory therapies and approaches with advanced flow cytometry, immunoassay and gene expression methods across a range of immune-related studies.. The broad spectrum of capabilities and expertise resident at the DHMRI and the wider NCRC facilitates an unprecedented level of scientific collaboration and public-private partnership for research at the intersection of human health, nutrition, and agriculture. (www.dhmri.org/about.html)

About ITI

The Immune Tolerance Institute (ITI) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation founded to fill critical unmet needs for translating fundamental scientific discoveries into new therapies for the broad range of diseases related to the human immune system, including autoimmune diseases, allergy, asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular and infectious diseases. Since 2007 ITI's technologies have been deployed for a range of both academic and industry partners to perform comprehensive cellular and molecular immunological analyses during clinical trials of emerging immune therapeutics, in order to identify novel biomarkers that can predict disease activity, drug safety and efficacy, and serve as companion diagnostics that advance personalized medicine by matching the right patients with the right therapies at the right time.


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