ASU Spinout HealthTell Raises $4 million in New Funding for Innovative Cancer Tests

AZ-based company developing inexpensive tools for individual health monitoring

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Last year, more than 270,000 Americans died from lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers – the top four cancers worldwide

Chandler, AZ (PRWEB) August 20, 2013

HealthTell, Inc., a biotech spinout from Arizona State University, has raised $4 million in new funding over the past few months to help commercialize a new test for lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer.

“Last year, more than 270,000 Americans died from lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers – the top four cancers worldwide,” said Bill Colston, co-founder and CEO of HealthTell. “This $4 million in new funding will help HealthTell demonstrate the ability of its test to provide reproducible detection of these tumors at an early stage, when treatment outcomes are significantly improved.”

HealthTell, which employs more than 20 people at the Innovations Incubator in Chandler, is developing an array of new tools to help individuals monitor their health status.
The HealthTell diagnostics technology was developed at the ASU Biodesign Institute by Dr. Stephen A. Johnston and Dr. Neal Woodbury and licensed through Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), the technology transfer arm of ASU. This technology has already been demonstrated to work for more than 30 diverse illnesses, ranging from cancer to infectious disease.

One of the largest challenges in modern medicine is the early detection of diseases, before they spread or become difficult to treat. This generally requires complex, expensive monitoring systems capable of detecting small numbers of cancer cells, viruses, or other pathogens in the bloodstream.

HealthTell has taken a radically different approach to solving this problem. Instead of trying to measure the pathogen directly, the company measures the body’s unique response (its “immunosignature”) to a given disease or disease state. By understanding what each immunosignature means and how it changes over time, HealthTell can provide a broad menu of highly accurate tests that are capable of detecting diseases much earlier and less invasively than is possible today.

HealthTell is also supplying chips for two ASU projects funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and its Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). DTRA is interested in using the diagnostic test to check the health of soldiers in the field. HealthTell also won the 2012 Governor’s Award for Innovation in Arizona.

“HealthTell exemplifies the quality of use-inspired research that is happening daily at ASU,” said Charlie Lewis, vice president of Venture Development for Arizona Technology Enterprises. “This technology developed at the ASU Biodesign Institute could potentially have a significant impact on early disease detection and treatment.”

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MEDIA CONTACT
Gordon McConnell
Assistant Vice President, ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group
ASU SkySong
480-884-1724
Gordon.mcconnell(at)asu(dot)edu

About HealthTell
HealthTell is an early stage start-up company that is developing powerful new tools to help individuals monitor their health status. This technology has already been demonstrated to work for over 30 diverse illnesses, ranging from cancer to infectious disease. The test is simple and inexpensive, and can be performed with only a single drop of blood. More information about HealthTell is available at http://www.healthtell.com.

About Arizona Technology Enterprises (http://www.azte.com)
Established in 2003, Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University. Over the last ten years Arizona Technology Enterprises has supported the development of 67 ASU spinout companies. Start-up companies that have licensed ASU IP have attracted $123 million in the last two years and nearly $400 million overall. Comprising industry and university veterans, AzTE brings together ASU’s researchers and industry partners to transform discoveries into marketable products and services, taking innovation out of the lab and into the commercial marketplace.


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