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New Haven firm starts Rare Disease and Pediatric Center of Excellence; Branford biotech wins design award

BY Natalie Missakian

4/10/2018
Contributed | IsoPlexis
Contributed | IsoPlexis
IsoPlexis' IsoLight Platform
A New Haven company that specializes in computerized testing of brain function said it has launched an institute to help guide clinical trials on children with rare diseases.

Cogstate Ltd., located at 195 Church St., said the Rare Disease and Pediatric Center of Excellence will provide drug companies and others with expert advice on cognitive and behavioral measures that address the challenges of pediatric rare disease patients.

The center will be led by Pam Ventola, a pediatric neuropsychologist and assistant clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center.

Cogstate CEO Brad O'Connor said half of the 350 million people suffering from rare diseases worldwide are children, 95 percent of whom go untreated.

"An important part of bringing new medicines to market for these underserved populations is ensuring the endpoints in the trials are appropriate and that the tests are consistently executed across the study," he said. "We are thrilled that an expert as accomplished as Dr. Ventola has joined us to lead these efforts."

Ventola will oversee teams that specialize in designing and executing rare disease and pediatric clinical trials, said the company, whose customers include biopharmaceutical firms, sporting organizations, physicians and the military.

In other news, Branford-based IsoPlexis Corp. said Monday its IsoLight System, a technology that analyzes cells to help doctors predict the way a patient will respond to cancer treatment, has won a Red Dot Award for excellence in product design.

The device allows researchers to characterize cells based on the proteins they secrete, the company has said.

The system can profile thousands of individual immune cells at once, measuring 10 times more data than existing technology, the company said. It is helping researchers develop personalized treatments for cancer patients.

Founded in 1955, the Red Dot Award bills itself as one of the world's largest design competitions. The contest had more than 63,000 submissions from 59 countries in 2018.

Products are judged on their level of innovation, functionality, quality, ergonomics and durability.

The award follows earlier accolades for IsoPlexis from The Scientist magazine, which named its IsoCode Chip its top innovation of 2017. The company also won the 2017 Fierce Innovation Award for Technology Innovation given by trade magazines FierceBiotech and FiercePharma.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at news@newhavenbiz.com