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The Immune Tolerance Institute and David H. Murdock Research Institute Announce a Partnership Establishing a State of the Art Human Immune Monitoring Laboratory for Biomarker Discovery and Development
Date:5/26/2010

MENLO PARK, Calif. and KANNAPOLIS, N.C., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Immune Tolerance Institute, Inc. (ITI) and the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) today announced a collaboration to establish the Center for Critical Path Research in Immunology (CCPRI) at The David H. Murdock Research Institute on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC. Driven by a mission to accelerate the discovery and development of new breakthrough treatments for the millions of people afflicted with the broad range of immune system-related conditions, the CCPRI will integrate state-of-the-art genomic, cellular, proteomic and bioinformatics technology platforms to discover and develop novel biomarkers that more effectively guide new advances in human health and match patients with therapies that will provide them the greatest benefit. By joining forces to establish the CCPRI, ITI and DHMRI are creating a unique set of capabilities under one roof to accelerate the translation of basic discoveries into medical practice, and to become a major resource for a range of academic and industry partners. "The potential for this collaboration to reverse the effects of dreaded immune diseases now facing mankind is immeasurable," stated David H. Murdock, visionary and founder of the NC Research Campus.

"We are proud to be partners with the DHMRI in this enterprise," said Louis Matis, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer of ITI. "There is growing consensus that applying more evidence-based understanding of disease to patient care will be critical to developing new therapies that are safer, targeted to the right patients, and thus more effective in disease prevention and treatment."

Biomarkers can enhance diagnostics and therapeutics development by helping to better predict the course of a disease, the likelihood of an individual's response to a medicine, as well as serving as surrogate endpoints of therapeutic efficacy and safety. Biomarkers were cited in the FDA's Critical Path Opportunities Report as one of the most critical areas for improving medical product development, shortening development times, reducing both costs and failure rates in drug development, and guiding better informed patient selection for targeted therapies.

"Advancing 'critical path' science will lead to new approaches to investigate the biological mechanisms of disease and to better predict the clinical efficacy and safety of emerging therapeutics. Such efforts have the potential to enhance human health and disease management and reverse the recent trends that have led to higher costs of medicine and slowed the pace of new treatment development," said Mike Luther, Ph.D., MBA, President of DHMRI. "In partnership with the ITI we will be able to identify new personalized medical solutions and make them widely available for patient benefit."

About ITI

The Immune Tolerance Institute (ITI) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) 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. ITI is a milestone and value-driven, not-for-profit institute uniquely positioned at the intersection of academia and biopharma that is advancing a new paradigm for mechanism-based clinical development, designed to better correlate clinical outcomes with underlying disease mechanisms. The Institute's technologies are being deployed to perform comprehensive cellular, molecular and immunological assays on specimens obtained from patients during clinical trials of emerging immune therapeutics in order to identify novel biomarkers that can shorten drug development times, and reduce the costs of development and the number of drug failures in late-stage development. (www.iti-immune.org)

About the DHMRI

The David H. Murdock Research Institute was established as a nonprofit organization to support groundbreaking research at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC). Established through a private grant by David H. Murdock, the DHMRI, with its state of the art facilities and capabilities, was established to be the catalyst in the development of NCRC as a world class research campus. DHMRI and NCRC will host the world's leading scientists to promote a level of unprecedented scientific collaboration and public-private partnerships never before possible at the intersection of human, nutrition, and agriculture. (www.dhmri.org/about.html)


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SOURCE Immune Tolerance Institute
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