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Chronix Technology Focuses on Changes to CFS Patients' DNA
Hemispherx and Chronix Plan Studies to Validate Technology as a Potential Diagnostic Test for CFS
SAN JOSE, Calif., March 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chronix Biomedical ("Chronix") announced today that it filed a provisional United States patent application jointly with Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (NYSE Amex:HEB) ("Hemispherx") on a blood test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ("CFS"). Patients with CFS exhibit a wide range of disabling symptoms including the inability to overcome fatigue by rest, swollen lymph nodes and cognitive deficiencies. CFS is estimated to affect approximately 4 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The disorder has a negative economic impact in the United States estimated at more than $9 billion annually.
The Chronix experimental approach analyzes fragments of DNA often released into the bloodstream during the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death. Chronix is using its proprietary technology and advanced DNA sequencing platforms to measure alterations in specific regions of the chromosome, which can be detected as distinctive "signatures" in cell-free blood-borne DNA. By focusing on these signatures, Chronix's technology can detect the presence of disease-damaged cells in simple blood samples without needing to biopsy diseased cells or tissues.
"Our technology -- based on DNA released into the bloodstream by dying and damaged cells -- taps into the dynamic information provided by the genomic alterations unique to each diseased cell. We capture what is happening to the DNA very early in and throughout the disease process, in real time, and patient by patient. That's how our approach differs from other tests that focus on static genomic data or protein biomarkers," said Dr. Urnovitz. The patient-unique signatures captured by the Chronix technology may prove useful as a companion diagnostic -- a test that is used to help guide treatment decisions -- and to provide information about the disease process to help pharmaceutical companies select the most efficacious drug candidates.