Precision Therapeutics and NAAF To Provide A Next Generation Patient Registry Enabling Research

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Precision Therapeutics Inc. has announced a services agreement between its wholly owned subsidiary, Helomics and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), which serves the community of people affected by an autoimmune skin disease called alopecia areata that results in hair loss and emotional pain, to provide a next generation patient registry to drive research into new treatments for people with this disease.

Founded in 2002, headquartered in the Greater Minneapolis Area, Minnesota, Precision Therapeutics operates through its three wholly owned subsidiaries, Helomics, TumorGenesis and Skyline Medical. Helomics applies artificial intelligence to rich data gathered from patient tumors to both personalize cancer therapies for patients and drive the development of new targeted therapies in partnership with pharmaceutical companies. Helomics’ CLIA-certified lab provides clinical testing that assists oncologists in individualizing patient treatment decisions, by providing an evidence-based roadmap for therapy.

In addition to its proprietary precision oncology platform, Helomics offers boutique CRO services that leverage its TruTumor™, patient-derived tumor models coupled to a wide range of multi-omics assays (genomics, proteomics and biochemical), and an AI-powered proprietary bioinformatics platform (D-CHIP) to provide a tailored solution to its clients’ specific needs.

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NAAF supports research to find a cure or acceptable treatment for alopecia areata, supports those with the disease, and educates the public about alopecia areata. NAAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1981 and headquartered in San Rafael, CA.

Helomics will leverage its CRO and Biorepository services offering to provide state-of-the-art storage, processing and analysis of samples from patients with alopecia areata who newly enroll with the NAAF registry, as well as storing samples from the existing registry. The registry was originally established in 2000 by a collaborative group of five experienced hair disease investigators and supported for 12 years by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) under Award Number HHSN268200682279C.

Registry samples and analytical services such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) will be made available to NAAF-sponsored researchers on request. The companies will also explore the application of the Helomics D-CHIP Artificial intelligence (AI) platform to data generated as part of the registry. Terms and financial conditions of the agreement were not disclosed.

“This agreement will provide NAAF with the ability to store, process and analyze specimens under one roof and in a CLIA regulated setting.” … “This approach is a one-stop-shop for all aspects of the specimen lifecycle that will save costs, improve specimen quality, and make available the latest NGS testing to researchers looking into the underlying molecular mechanisms of alopecia areata, while leveraging our D-CHIP platform toward these rich data.” – Gerald Vardzel, president of Helomics

“Achieving better outcomes for people with alopecia areata is a key part of the mission of NAAF and working with Helomics to provide this registry to our researchers is a key step. We are hopeful that in the future, applying Helomics’ AI and machine learning capabilities to the valuable data and samples we collect, will lead to a better understanding and improved treatments for alopecia areata, and other autoimmune diseases. All parties are excited about building on this valuable resource.” – Dory Kranz, president and CEO of NAAF

“Agreements such as this one with NAAF further validate the Helomics boutique CRO services business and our D-CHIP AI-driven platform. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve the alopecia areata community and look forward to a long term and impactful partnership.” – Dr. Carl Schwartz, president and CEO of Precision Therapeutics