Refocuses on biomarker discovery and development services
INDIANAPOLIS, June 4, 2007 –The Indiana Centers for Applied Protein Sciences (INCAPS) today announced that they have changed their name to Monarch LifeSciences LLC. The new name was chosen to highlight the significance of proteomics – the company’s primary focus. Proteins are the major functional entity responsible for all biological processes within an organism, and the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is often used to illustrate the importance of proteins in biology. Butterflies and caterpillars have the same genome, yet their appearance is completely different. Changes at the protein level are responsible for these differences.
Originally formed as a BioCrossroads company, Monarch LifeSciences is a contract research organization that provides research services on proteins and biomarkers for biotech and pharmaceutical companies interested in developing drugs and diagnostic tests. They work with large pharmaceutical companies, medium and small biotech firms, and academic investigators from North America and Europe. One notable project is that they have received a portion of a $7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop and validate biomarker discovery tools in the hopes of advancing clinical applications
Monarch’s focus, protein biomarker discovery, development and validation, are key areas for the future of drug development and disease research. Proteins/biomarkers enable researchers to understand disease because they can be correlated with the health or disease of an individual. While genes are static and stay the same from conception, proteins are dynamic and are always changing (physical appearance and diseases are determined by proteins). The large scale study of proteins, or proteomics, can not only aid in drug development, but it can also help in diagnostic areas like how a disease may respond to a certain drug, help monitor drug interaction and play a central role in personalized medicine.
Monarch has an active internal research program in collaboration with the Indiana University School of Medicine. The partnership allows the company to continually improve their techniques and publish in peer-reviewed journals to expand the proteomics biomarker knowledge base.
“Monarch’s base business it to help expedite the research and development time for new therapeutics and diagnostics,” said Shawn Comella, the newly named President and CEO of Monarch LifeSciences. “Building on the support of our stakeholders like Eli Lilly and Company, BioCrossroads, Indiana University, the IU School of Medicine, and Purdue University we’ve been able to expand our offerings and add new products to our portfolio. Our new LifeMarkerTM assay is of particular interest to our customers as it offers a faster and more cost-effective way to develop and validate biomarkers compared to currently available technologies.”
Comella was previously Vice President of Business Development for SSCI, Inc., an Aptuit Company, which is a cGMP research and analytical service firm. He also held a number of management roles at Roche Diagnostics, including Group Director of the Roche Protein Expression Group and Channel Manager of Roche Applied Science.
About Monarch LifeSciences
Monarch LifeSciences was established in 2003 as the Indiana Centers for Applied Protein Sciences (INCAPS). It is a contract research organization with expertise in proteinbiomarker discovery, development and validation. The company brings biotech and pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions state-of-the-art mass spectrometry technologies coupled with proprietary sample preparation methods and quantification algorithms. Monarch was formed through BioCrossroads, Indiana’s initiative to grow life sciences, along with the state’s leading academic and industry organizations. For more information visit: www.monarchlifesciences.com
LIFEMARKER is a trademark of Monarch LifeSciences.