UMDNJ Faculty Member Receives $500,000 Commitment
to Advance Breast Cancer Diagnostics
NEW BRUNSWICK –— Kiran Madura, Ph.D., founder and chief scientific officer of CellXplore, Inc. and professor in the Department of Biochemistry at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), has received a $500,000 commitment from Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC, to advance research that could help in the non-invasive diagnosis of breast cancer.
CellXplore has identified several biomarkers that use a biochemical analysis of blood samples to identify specific proteins found in those who have the disease. According to Dr. Madura, the eventual hope is that the strategy would not only be able to help diagnose breast and other cancers, but might also be able to discriminate between different types and stages, which would be helpful in establishing targeted treatment plans for patients.
“While we are currently focusing on breast cancer biomarkers, in the future we will investigate whether blood sample biomarkers can also be identified for the early diagnosis of major, debilitating illnesses such as muscle wasting disease and neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease,” Dr. Madura explained.
Foundation Venture Capital Group was founded in 2006 to invest in commercially viable new start-up companies developing technology at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. CellXplore is its second investment within the past six months.
“Our investment in CellXplore reinforces our strong relationship with UMDNJ and our willingness to invest in companies that might not otherwise receive support at this early stage,” said George F. Heinrich, M.D., vice chair and CEO of Foundation Venture Capital Group. “Dr. Madura and his company are developing very promising technology that has great potential in the diagnosis of cancer and other devastating diseases.”
“Dr. Madura has identified novel biomarkers for breast cancer that could form the basis for the development of new assays for initial detection of breast cancer as well as new monitoring approaches for evaluating the effectiveness of drugs used to treat this disease,” said Dr. Kathleen Scotto, interim vice president for Research at UMDNJ. “The support provided by the Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC
will allow CellXplore to expand and develop these exciting findings, with a goal of providing new approaches for detection and treatment of breast cancer and other malignancies.”
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.