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Life Science Analytics Start-Up Generates First Sales

W. Andy Tao (Tom Campbell/Purdue Agricultural Communication)

W. Andy Tao (Tom Campbell/Purdue Agricultural Communication)

Tymora Analytical Operations LLC, a developer of analytic technology for drug development in West Lafayette, Indiana, says the company is generating its first sales income after only two years in business. The Purdue University spin-off licenses research done by biochemist W. Andy Tao (pictured left), who also serves as Tymora’s chief scientist.

The company is developing a nanotechnology-based platform for the analysis of protein phosphorylation — the modification or regulation of protein enzymes from the addition of phosphates — related to the onset of many diseases, particularly cancer. PolyMAC, one of Tymora’s products based on that platform, tells if a candidate for drug development is targeting the intended proteins, according to Anton Iliuk, the company’s president.

Knowing which proteins are targeted allows drug developers to test whether new drugs target only desired proteins or others as well. “Researchers can feel more confident in their results,” says Iliuk, “because PolyMAC is a more reliable and sensitive tool, which is a key in effective early-stage drug discovery.” In addition, eliminating unintended protein targets can for some people reduce the serious side effects associated with cancer drugs.

The intended market for the PolyMAC system are university and industry researchers, and the company reports its first sales of PolyMAC. In July 2011, Tymora received a $150,000 SBIR grant from National Science Foundation to further develop the platform technology.

The company has also received support from the Emerging Innovations Fund, provided by Purdue’s Office of Technology Commercialization. The fund is open to early-stage companies that license technology from Purdue University or are based in the Purdue Research Park.

Iliuk credits the Emerging Innovations Fund for its early success, saying the “funding we received has allowed us to commercialize and start marketing and make the first sales of our first product, PolyMAC, and will support our commercialization efforts for the next product release in the near future.”

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