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Telome Health Co-founder and Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn Awarded Innovator of the Year

MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Telome Health, Inc.™, a privately held biotechnology company focused on the role of telomere biology in human health, has announced that co-founder and Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn has been awarded Innovator of the Year by Silicon Valley Business Journal.

"I am very pleased and honored to receive this award, especially coming from the heart of innovation, Silicon Valley, and to acknowledge the efforts of my amazing colleagues," said Dr. Blackburn.

Dr. Blackburn is an internationally recognized thought leader and expert on the biology of telomeres. She was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology along with Drs. Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for her work in this field. She co-founded Telome Health in 2010 with colleagues Calvin Harley, Elissa Epel and Jue Lin who also recognized experts in the field of telomere biology. Dr. Blackburn is Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology at the University of California at San Francisco. She also serves on the Board and is a Scientific Advisory for Telome Health.

"We are thrilled that Dr. Blackburn has been awarded the Innovator of The Year by The Silicon Valley and San Jose Business Journal," noted Daniel Hunt, CEO of Telome Health. "This is just one of the many notable and prestigious awards that she has received for her significant contributions to the field of telomere biology. We are proud to work with Elizabeth to develop a diagnostic test that will further empower individuals and physicians to manage disease risk using a more proactive, personalized approach."

Telome Health, Inc. is developing a proprietary assay that measures telomere length called the TeloTest™ that it anticipates launching in 2012. Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the ends of human chromosomes that protect them from unraveling similar to the plastic tips (aglets) located on the ends of shoelaces. Research supports that as telomeres get shorter, the chromosome becomes less stable. If this shortening occurs faster than is observed in a normal or healthy population, it may be an indication of stress or other co-morbid factors that have not yet been detected by other tests or actual symptoms.  

The TeloTest assay utilizes quantitative polymerase chain assay, also called qPCR, and is the most clinically validated technology used to determine telomere length. "The body of scientific and clinical evidence using qPCR is enormous," said Blackburn. "It is really the technology for which all others should be compared since such studies using this technology conclusively support that negative changes in telomere length is directly associated to aging and disease risk."

Envisaged as being taken annually, the test serves as a "check engine" light that may provide an early warning to individuals and their physicians that further medical assessment or changes in lifestyle habits are warranted.

About Telome Health, Inc.

Telome Health, Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company that is focused on developing proprietary telomere based technologies to diagnose, prevent and treat human disease. Its first product, the TeloTest is anticipated to launch in 2012. The company was co-founded by Elizabeth Blackburn who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her scientific contributions in the field of telomere biology and Drs. Calvin Harley, Elissa Epel and Jue Li who are internationally recognized experts in this field. The company is located in Menlo Park, CA.


Patricia Sinatra
VP of Corporate Development and Strategy
Telome Health, Inc.

SOURCE Telome Health, Inc.
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