German Biotech Company sphingotec Expands into the U.S.
Karla M. Gonye to lead U.S. business from new headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--sphingotec GmbH (www.sphingotec.de/en/) announced today that it has established its U.S. headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Germany-based biotechnology company develops tests to detect individual risk factors for cancer, cardiovascular conditions and kidney disease. Its expansion into the U.S. will enable sphingotec to more rapidly meet growing market demand.
“Our goal in the U.S. is to make sphingotests known as both cost-effective and accessible tests for patients at risk for critical illness, regardless of health coverage status”
Commercial activities in the U.S. will be led by Karla M. Gonye, who will serve as president of the U.S. subsidiary. Gonye’s experience includes more than 20 years in the biotech, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries. Most recently, Gonye led worldwide marketing and market development activities for BG Medicine.
sphingotec’s mission is to reduce the incidence of major illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular conditions and kidney disease. Researchers at the company have identified biomarkers designed to determine individual risk factors for life-threatening illnesses that affect millions of individuals, such as sepsis. Detecting these predispositions early enables doctors and patients to take preventive and therapeutic measures sooner.
This is particularly relevant in the area of breast cancer, where sphingotec has developed a biomarker in the form of a simple blood test, sphingotest® pro-NT. The test identifies the concentration of the satiety hormone neurotensin, which is independently associated with the development of breast cancer above other commonly known risk factors and is applicable to all females, regardless of genetic predispositions. It shows great promise as a starting point for the prevention of breast cancer.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently published solid data demonstrating that the detection of elevated proneurotensin levels offers a substantial advantage in identifying an independent risk factor in the prediction of breast cancer.* In August 2014, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention published an article on the validation of plasma proneurotensin as a novel biomarker for the prediction of incident breast cancer.**
“Our goal in the U.S. is to make sphingotests known as both cost-effective and accessible tests for patients at risk for critical illness, regardless of health coverage status,” said Dr. Andreas Bergmann, founder and managing director of sphingotec GmbH. “We are delighted to have a distinguished expert like Karla on board at sphingotec. We are confident that her extensive knowledge and broad experience in the field will allow us to make headway quickly in the U.S. market.”
Headquartered in Hennigsdorf, Germany, biotechnology company sphingotec GmbH was founded in 2002. sphingotec GmbH aims to develop diagnostic methods for prediction, prevention, intervention strategies and early treatment of diseases in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and kidney function. Using biomarkers to indicate susceptibility for a specific disease provides individuals with knowledge that they are at risk. The biomarkers therefore create a starting point where intervention strategies can be employed as evidence-based recommendations on how to reduce risks are always an integral part of the complete concept. Further information can be found on our website www.sphingotec.com.
*Melander, O., Maisel, A.S., Almgren, P., Manjer, J., Belting, M., Hedblad, B., et al. (2012). Plasma Pro-Neurotensin Independently Predicts Cardiometabolic Diseases, Breast Cancer, and Death in Women. Journal of the American Medical Association, 308(14), 1469-1475.
**Melander, O., Belting, M., Manjer, J., Maisel, A.S., Hedblad, B., Engström, G., et al. (2014). Validation of Plasma Proneurotensin as a Novel Biomarker for the Prediction of Incident Breast Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 23(8), 1672-76.