SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- While children can demonstrate symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) as early as 19 months, the average age of ASD diagnosis is 4.5 years old. Driven by increasing research pointing to the impact of early ASD detection and treatment, SynapDx Corporation has received $6 million in financing from North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners to support further development of its breakthrough blood-based ASD diagnostic test, designed to identify children with ASD by age 36 months.
“SynapDx has proven that it has the right combination of scientific, clinical and entrepreneurial expertise to develop tests that will offer parents and pediatricians a better, faster way to identify these disorders,” said Bill Geary, Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners. “The company’s next phase of clinical development will be critical to thousands of children and their families.”
SynapDx’s blood-test approach 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.
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, SynapDx, who holds more than 30 patents and founded diagnostic companies Cytyc and EXACT Sciences. “Our technology introduces an entirely new category of testing that has the potential to transform pediatrics and give parents and clinicians much-needed answers.”
Funding Lays Foundation for Rapid Growth, Additional Research
SynapDx will use the proceeds to fund further studies, slated to begin in 2013, and further expand its executive team. SynapDx also recently added Robert Carpenter, former lead director of Genzyme Corporation, to its board of directors.
Carpenter founded two life sciences companies, Integrated Genetics and GelTex Pharmaceuticals, both of which went public and were acquired by Genzyme. He also currently serves a director at Moderna and Good Start Genetics.
“Early treatment of autism has proven to yield better patient outcomes, and SynapDx is well-positioned to lead the market in the early diagnosis of this challenging disorder,” said Carpenter. “Initial studies have been promising, and we’re looking forward to our next phase of research.”
About SynapDx Corp.
SynapDx is a private company providing laboratory diagnostics to physicians who suspect children of developmental disorders, with the initial goal of enabling earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The company collaborates with ASD and gene expression experts at leading institutions, including Boston Children’s Hospital. SynapDx was founded 2010 and is based in Southborough, Mass.