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SoftGenetics receives $250K investment for human genome research

SoftGenetics, LLC a Pennsylvania State College-based developer of software analysis tools for use by genetic researchers and diagnosticians, has received an investment of $250,000 from The Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania (LSGPA).

Founded in 2001, SoftGenetics creates rapid, easy-to-use software analysis tools for use by genetic researchers and diagnosticians. These tools include Mutation Surveyor(TM) and Mutation Explorer(R), for rapid and accurate discovery of DNA Variants from sequence traces, and GeneMarker(R) for all genotyping applications.

The funds will be used to accelerate development of the company’s “MicroArray Copy Number and SNP Chip” software.

SNPs, or single-nucleotide polymorphisms, are minute variations that, taken together, create the unique DNA pattern for each person. It’s widely believed that the ability to pinpoint variation in SNPs is the first step toward identifying susceptibility to or causes of certain diseases.

SNP analysis applied to medical practice is known as molecular diagnostics, and is part of a broader movement commonly referred to as personalized medicine. Though the widespread practice of personalized medicine remains some years in the future, the potential to substantially improve patient care has many in the research and clinical communities eager to put the techniques to use.

“If the promise of personalized medicine is to be realized, today’s researchers and diagnosticians need access to highly sensitive, highly accurate tools that are also fast and easy to use,” says SoftGenetics V.P. of Development, Dr. C.S. Liu. “With this funding we intend to leverage our existing expertise in mutation detection and software design to deliver to the research and medical communities precisely the tool they’ve been clamoring for.”

The Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania has been formed to accelerate economic growth through commercialization of discoveries in the life sciences. The Greenhouse investment in SoftGenetics comes from LSGPA’s Technology Development Fund, which provides early-stage life sciences companies with capital in the form of convertible debt-to-equity or equity investments.

Dr. Mel Billingsley, President & CEO of LSGPA, noted that the importance of genetics-based diagnosis and treatments has been on the rise as the human genome has been sequenced. “As both a researcher and an investor, it’s exciting to be involved with a company working at the confluence of information technology and healthcare. The scientific community has just begun to exploit the potential of molecular diagnostics, but we can be certain that the field will have significant impact on the quality of patient care.”

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