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SynapDx secures $6 million to advance autism test
SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass.— Driven by increasing research pointing to the impact of early autism spectrum disorder (ASD) detection and treatment, SynapDx Corp. has received $6 million in financing from North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners to support further development of its blood-based ASD diagnostic test, which is designed to identify children with ASD by age 36 months.
The test measures differences in RNA gene expression to distinguish between children with a higher risk for ASDs from those without. The test could hasten the diagnostic process and help children at risk for ASDs secure access to the right evaluations and treatment as early as possible, according to SynapDx.
In its first phase, SynapDx obtained an exclusive license to recently published discoveries from Boston Children's Hospital. That study demonstrated the potential to identify more children with ASDs than other currently available tests. SynapDx is also working closely with ASD and gene expression experts at leading institutions across the country.
"While one in 88 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism, only two in 10 are identified by age 36 months. The diagnostic journey is also long, expensive and confusing for families—making this a clinically important but scientifically overlooked area of research," said Stanley Lapidus, CEO of SynapDx, in a statement. "Our technology introduces an entirely new category of testing that has the potential to transform pediatrics and give parents and clinicians much-needed answers."
SynapDx will use the proceeds to fund further studies, slated to begin in 2013, and to further expand its executive team. SynapDx also recently added Robert Carpenter, former lead director of Genzyme Corp., to its board of directors.