National Medal of Science Awardee Dr. Leroy Hood Joins Sera Prognostics as a Scientific Advisor
National Medal of Science Awardee Dr. Leroy Hood Joins Sera Prognostics as a Scientific Advisor Sep 2013
Visionary Scientist to Help Advance Proteomic Technologies in Women's Health
SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sera Prognostics, Inc., a women's healthcare company, today announced that Lee Hood, M.D., Ph.D., noted pioneer of systems biology and recent recipient of the National Medal of Science, will serve as a scientific advisor to the Company. Dr. Hood will be working with Sera to advance the development of clinical proteomic technologies to deliver advanced diagnostic information to women and their physicians to improve pregnancy outcomes.
"We are very excited to have such an accomplished scientist and innovator as Lee Hood join Sera and contribute to the scientific strategy of the Company," said Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D., M.S., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sera Prognostics. "Lee has been at the forefront of a number of disruptive scientific advancements over the last 25 years, with novel approaches that integrate biology, technology and medicine. Dr. Hood's vision of predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory medicine is highly aligned with Sera's goal of improving the care of mothers and newborns."
Dr. Lee Hood is a recipient of the prestigious Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for his contributions to the understanding of the immune system. Dr. Hood was instrumental in the development of early sequencers and synthesizers for DNA and proteins. These technologies have paved the way for the genomic and proteomic revolution. Dr. Hood has founded many successful biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, The Accelerator and Integrated Diagnostics. He co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Among his many honors, Dr. Hood was awarded the 2011 National Medal of Science. This is the highest honor the President of the United States can award to an individual for contributions to the advancement of knowledge in science and engineering.
"Sera Prognostics is leveraging advances in proteomics for the early prediction of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications," commented Lee Hood, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and President of the Institute for Systems Biology. "I look forward to working with this outstanding team to create new solutions to shift the healthcare paradigm from reactive medicine to an approach that favors personalized wellness and prevention, especially in the important areas of human development and pregnancy. Sera's innovative work has tremendous potential to achieve this goal."
Sera's PreTRM™ test will use a routine blood sample obtained during the second trimester of pregnancy to provide an early individualized assessment of a woman's risk of preterm birth. Upon launch, commercial testing will be performed at Sera's state-of-the-art CLIA laboratory with results returned to referring physicians. Physicians may then use this information to help guide clinical decisions with respect to personalized interventions intended to improve care and potentially reduce the costs of prolonged stays in neonatal intensive care units.
About Preterm Birth
Of the 4 million babies born annually in the U.S., approximately one in eight, or 12 percent, is born preterm. Preterm birth is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns and is associated with a significantly increased risk of major long-term medical complications, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, intellectual disability, seizures, and vision and hearing loss. A study published in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine and the March of Dimes reported that total costs incurred in the U.S. for treating complications of preterm birth exceed $26 billion each year. The complications from preterm birth also extend beyond the first year of life, and generate significant costs throughout the lives of affected children.
About Sera Prognostics, Inc.
Sera Prognostics is a private biotechnology company developing innovative diagnostic tests designed for the early prediction of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications. Sera's tests are designed to help better inform the care of a mother and her unborn child during pregnancy, and potentially lead to improved health. In November 2011, the company completed a Series A financing round of $19.3 million to develop its preterm birth predictor. The company has assembled a strong management team and Board of Directors with significant clinical development and women's healthcare diagnostic experience. Sera's Proteomic Assessment of Preterm Birth study is fully enrolled, as the world's largest and broadest clinical trial to validate the performance of its PreTRM™ test for predicting the risk of preterm birth. Sera is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.seraprognostics.com.
Andrew Sauter, CFO
Sera Prognostics, Inc.
Media Contact for Sera Prognostics:
Continuum Health Communications