Gentris Corporation Names New Chief Scientific Advisor
MORRISVILLE, N.C., Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Gentris Corporation (www.gentris.com), a global leader in applied clinical pharmacogenomics, announced today that Howard McLeod, Pharm.D., from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has become the Company’s first Chief Scientific Advisor. Dr. McLeod, an internationally recognized expert in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine, is the Fred N. Eshelman Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy. He holds academic appointments in the UNC Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine as well as the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. McLeod is actively involved in global pharmacogenomics initiatives. He serves as Principal Investigator for the CREATE Pharmacogenomics Research Network and is a member of the FDA Committee on Clinical Pharmacology. He is also Vice Chairman for Pharmacogenomics with the NIH Cancer and Leukemia Group B Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Committee. As Director of the PharmacoGenetics for Every Nation Initiative (PGENI), he works with scientists, medical experts, and government officials around the world to assist developing countries as they take advantage of pharmacogenomic innovations to improve decision-making in the use of biotechnology and pharmaceutical products.
Dr. McLeod has published more than three hundred and eighty peer-reviewed papers on pharmacogenomics, applied therapeutics, or clinical pharmacology and serves on the editorial boards of seven scientific journals. Additionally, he sits on numerous advisory boards for industry and non-profit organizations.
Gentris Corporation, founded in 2001, is located in the heart of Research Triangle Park where it provides biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with cutting-edge scientific guidance in patient clinical-trial selection and strategies to reduce adverse drug reactions. The Company has worked closely with sponsors to incorporate pharmacogenomics into more than five hundred clinical trials around the world. Gentris scientists design de novo genomic assays, while providing strong regulatory and clinical-implementation support. These contributions improve study accuracy and ensure that a sponsor’s program is expeditiously completed. More than two hundred and fifty of Gentris’ Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliant assays have been validated and used in clinical trials.
The Gentris Integrated BioRepository Solutions business unit provides biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with an innovative, comprehensive system to manage study-site logistics, conduct genomic assessments, and store patient biospecimens. The Gentris Integrated BioRepository Solutions program is centralized and seamlessly connects sponsors with their global medical sites and central labs.
In his role as Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr. McLeod will provide scientific oversight for all Gentris programs while collaborating with Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Scott Clark and Vice President of Scientific Operations Suzanne Phillips to develop new research and education projects in individualized medicine that have a positive impact on global health. The first project underway is an oncology-focused, genome-wide association study (GWAS) to evaluate potential biomarkers.
Additional analyses will include multidimensional assessment of the cancer genome. Working together with other leaders in industry, academia, government, and nonprofit organizations, the Gentris Team will also be identifying new ways to evaluate genomic biomarkers and patient responses to toxicity and efficacy, which encompass a wide variety of disease areas, drug targets, mechanisms of action, and point-of-care settings.
“It is an exciting time for the application of genomics in drug development,” said Dr. Howard McLeod, “and I am thrilled to help Gentris scientists as they establish innovative collaborations with their biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners.”
“We share Dr. McLeod’s vision of collaborating with leaders in academia and industry to rapidly translate new biomarker innovations into safer, more effective personalized medicines that improve global health,” said Rick Williams, CEO of Gentris Corporation. “Dr. McLeod and I have both recently spent a lot of time in China. With increasing interest there, and in other emerging countries, biopharma companies have more opportunities than ever before to broaden their global pharmacogenomics studies to include ethnically diverse populations.”
“We are honored that Dr. McLeod has agreed to become our Chief Scientific Advisor,” said Dr. Scott Clark, Chief Scientific Officer at Gentris. “We have already identified several promising new scientific projects that combine our pharmacogenomics industry expertise with Dr. McLeod’s academic experience. Our goal is to accelerate the development and validation of new biomarkers for diseases such as hepatitis and cancer.”
About Gentris Corporation:
Founded in 2001, Gentris is a leading global provider of applied clinical pharmacogenomics. Gentris offers SNP genotyping, custom assay design and validation, expression analysis, and sample bio-storage, all of which are compliant with stringent GLP guidelines and are under CLIA registration. The Company is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC. For additional information, please visit www.gentris.com or call 919.653.5534.
Media Contact: L. Scott Clark, Ph.D. Chief Scientific Officer Gentris Corporation 919.653.5534 Scott.Clark@gentris.com
SOURCE Gentris Corporation