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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Immunetics Awarded $2.4 Million NIH Grant for Clinical Trials of New Blood Test for Chagas’ Disease

immunetics-release-logoBOSTON – May 3, 2011Immunetics, Inc. today announced it has been awarded a $2.4 million, 3-year Phase II SBIR grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support clinical trials of the company’s new confirmatory test for Chagas’ disease, a serious and potentially fatal parasitic infection.

Chagas’ disease is endemic in large parts of Latin America, where it affects up to 11┬ámillion people, and has emerged in the U.S., where more than 300,000 people are infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is difficult to diagnose, and is often silent for years before clinical symptoms appear. During this time, carriers can pass on the parasite through blood donations and infect transfusion recipients.

Existing screening tests that detect antibodies to the parasite are frequently inaccurate. A complex method called radioimmunoprecipitation (RIPA) is sometimes used to confirm screening test results, but is beyond the reach of most laboratories. There are no FDA-approved confirmatory test methods.

Immunetics’ test, called an immunoblot, detects antibodies to the parasite and is based on the same technology used in confirmatory tests for HIV and several other bloodborne infections. Data presented by Immunetics at meetings in 2010 of the American Association of Blood Banks and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene showed the immunoblot test to be as accurate as RIPA in preliminary studies, said Dr. Andrew Levin, president and scientific director, Immunetics.

“The new NIH grant will enable Immunetics to undertake a full-scale clinical trial to obtain data to submit to the FDA for approval of the immunoblot as a confirmatory test. Immunetics will undertake the studies with collaborators at Blood Systems Research Institute, the American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Levin said.

“This grant award gives us the opportunity to take our Chagas’ immunoblot test through the clinical studies needed to establish its validity as a confirmatory test. We are very grateful for NIH support for this project, which will allow us to bring forward a practical solution to one part of the growing public health and blood safety problem that Chagas’ disease presents in the U.S. and Latin America,” he said.

About Immunetics, Inc.

Immunetics Inc., (http://www.immunetics.com) offers state-of-the-art assay technology for infectious disease diagnosis and pathogen detection, and for over 10 years has been a leading innovator of tests for bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases. The company produces and markets a range of infectious disease assay kits and instruments. Its mission is better, cost-efficient care through more accurate diagnosis. Immunetics is headquartered in Boston, Mass. Follow Immunetics on Twitter at http://twitter.com/immunetics.

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Press Contact: Don Goncalves, Tiziani Whitmyre, 781-793-9380, dgoncalves@tizinc.com


Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Immunetics Featured at Boston Startup America Event

immunectics1BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, March 30, 2011 - “Immunetics came to the South Boston Innovation District after recognizing that an attractive business location with talented people, reasonable facility costs, and access to capital would be a great place to achieve their next stage of growth,” Mayor Menino said. “Now, the city’s partnership with Immunetics has generated benefits that exceeded all of our expectations. Together, we’ve created jobs, won millions of dollars in grants and contracts, and most importantly, achieved medical advances that will help millions of people overcome life-threatening diseases.”

Immunetics President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andrew Levin said LifeTech Boston, the Mayor’s program that supports the life sciences industry in the city and is administered through the Boston Redevelopment Authority, helped locate a facility that could support the company’s growth objectives, plus secure a loan to finance its build-out.

“Since then, we have almost tripled the size of our workforce, won over $22 million in grants and contracts, and developed better diagnostics for diseases such as HIV, Lyme disease, and other serious infections that threaten our blood supply,” said Dr. Levin. “Our move to the Innovation District has been the key to Immunetics’ growth and success over the past 7 years.”

The Startup America initiative’s goal is to increase opportunities for entrepreneurs by expanding access to capital, developing education and mentorship programs, and improving collaboration between startup and established companies.

About Immunetics
Immunetics (http://www.immunetics.com) offers state-of-the-art assay technology for infectious disease diagnosis and pathogen detection. For over 10 years, the company has been a leading innovator of tests for bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases. Immunetics produces and markets a range of infectious disease assay kits and instruments. Its mission is better, cost-efficient care through more accurate diagnosis.


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