It’s Life in the Fast Lane for Iron Horse Dx
Iron Horse Diagnostics to receive the 2013 AZBio Fast Lane Award from the
Arizona Bioindustry Association for Accelerating the Development of New ALS
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- September 18, 2013
The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) today announced that Iron Horse
Diagnostics, Inc. has been selected to receive a 2013 AZBio Fast Lane Award
from the Arizona Bioindustry Association in recognition for its focus on the
development and commercialization of novel tests to support the diagnosis and
management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), traumatic brain injury
(TBI), and other neurological diseases and key milestones achieved over the
last 18 months. Iron Horse Diagnostics will be honored by bioindustry leaders
at the Phoenix Convention Center during the 2013 AZBio Awards on October 10,
The AZBio Fast Lane Award recognizes the select few companies that have
achieved outstanding milestones in the past 18 months. Significant progress
can be measured by clinical results, regulatory approvals, certifications,
collaborations, funding awards, product launches, job growth or product sales
“So often we hear the lament that the road from discovery to development to
delivery takes too long,” shared AZBio president and CEO Joan Koerber-Walker.
“When I hear that, I love to point out that for some companies, especially
diagnostics companies, that does not have to be the case. Just look at Iron
Iron Horse Diagnostics was founded February of 2012 to commercialize
diagnostic and prognostic tests for neurologic diseases. During this time,
Iron Horse has in-licensed 4 patents related to protein based biomarkers for
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 1 patent for blood based biomarkers of
traumatic brain injury.
The company is led by Dr. Robert Bowser, a serial entrepreneur who developed
the protein signatures for both the ALS diagnostic test and the ALS prognostic
test. Dr. Bowser has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and
has been the recipient of a large number of grants for his research in ALS.
Dr. Bowser is also a Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at the Barrow
Neurological Institute and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in
Phoenix, Arizona, where he is Chairman of Neurobiology and Director of the
Gregory W. Fulton ALS Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Bowser is a
co-Founder of Knopp Biosciences, a Pittsburgh based drug development company
that signed a partnership deal with Biogen Idec in 2010 for $80 million
up-front payment and milestone payments up to a total of $345 million for an
ALS drug therapy. He earned his B.S. in Cell Biology from Carnegie Mellon
University and Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Yale University.
Iron Horse co-founder and Scientific Advisor is Dr. Gerry Shaw, founder and
President of EnCor Biotechnology Inc., a successful company that specializes
in the generation and sale of antibodies for research purposes to scientific
investigators and many other companies. EnCor will provide Iron Horse
antibodies for use in all products, with exclusive license for use of EnCor
antibodies in clinical diagnostic assays. Dr. Shaw was a Professor of
Neurosciences at the University of Florida and has performed research on the
cytoskeleton for the past 25 years. Dr. Shaw earned his B.S. in Cell Biology
from University College London and his Ph.D. from King’s College London.
Since its start in 2012, Iron Horse successfully received a NIH Fast-Track
Phase I/II STTR grant to commercialize the ALS diagnostic test in the amount
Iron Horse has also negotiated with a large pharma company to receive
non-diluting capital in the amount of $700,000 to assist in the prospective
multi-site validation study of the ALS diagnostic. This validation study will
be performed at 3 clinical sites in the valley, a medical center in Boston,
and two medical centers in Europe and be initiated in early 2014.
In addition, Iron Horse is already performing contract research organization
(CRO) work for a small biotechnology company in California called Genervon,
providing expertize on biomarkers to use in clinical trials for ALS and
Parkinson’s disease to demonstrate efficacy of their drug. Iron Horse is
providing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and biofluid sample collection
kits that will be used in Genervon’s clinical trials. The Iron Horse
laboratory will quantify various protein biomarkers in blood and cerebrospinal
fluid of patients enrolled in these clinical trials.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a
devastating disease that is nearly always fatal within 5 years of onset. Due
to similarities in their symptomatic progression it is difficult to
differentiate ALS from several other disease mimics (motor neuropathy,
progressive muscle atrophy, etc.) until it is too late for intervention to
have any real effect. With an earlier diagnosis, and therefore earlier
intervention, current clinical care may significantly increase the lifespan of
these patients and additional drug therapies that are likely to be introduced
to the market could be more rapidly initiated. Not only might life expectancy
increase, but patients would be given the chance for a higher quality of life
for a longer duration due to more rapid inclusion of the patient into
multi-disciplinary care treatment offered at specialized ALS clinics.
The 8^th Annual AZBio Awards will be held Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the
Phoenix Convention Center. In addition to the Gala Awards Luncheon from 11:30
a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the VWR Company Showcase and Student Discovery Showcase
sponsored by NAU will highlight the work of Arizona’s current and future life
science leaders from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
so that attendees can see the work being done across the industry and interact
with the leaders and future leaders who are driving bioindustry innovation.
In addition to honoring Iron Horse Diagnostics, the AZBio Awards will
celebrate the achievements of:
*2013 AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement – Thomas M. Grogan,
M.D., Founder of Ventana and SVP Medical Affairs at Ventana Medical
Systems, Inc., a member of the Roche Group
*2013 Michael A. Cusanovich Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year –
Amanda Grimes, Mesa Biotechnology Academy, Mesa Public Schools
*2013 AZBio Public Service Award - John W. Lewis, Mayor of the Town of
*2013 Arizona Bioscience Researcher of the Year – Leslie Boyer, M.D., VIPER
Institute, The University of Arizona
*2013 Jon W. McGarity Arizona Bioscience Leader of the Year – Linda Hunt,
Dignity Health, Arizona Market.
*2013 Arizona Bioscience Company of the Year – W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
*2013 AZBio Fast Lane Awards – Iron Horse Dx, Nasseo, Inc., and Yulex
The list of past honorees can be viewed at:
http://www.azbio.org/azbio-awards/awards-history. For tickets and more
information, visit www.AZBioAwards.com.
About the Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) – www.azbio.org
As Arizona’s statewide industry Association, AZBio is committed to working
with our members across Arizona to support our industry as together we move
forward faster. AZBio provides access to the key resources, connections and
information in our biosciences community. This provides the foundation to be
able to Connect, Collaborate, Innovate and Succeed; thus supporting the growth
of a thriving economic environment for Arizona’s Bioscience Industry today and
in the future.
AZBio is the State Affiliate of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
located in Washington, D.C. and also collaborates on national issues with
AdvaMed, PhRMA and other national and international organizations to move the
Arizona Bioscience Industry forward faster.
Joan Koerber-Walker, 480-332-9636
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