Category Archives: Leadership

Blogs and announcements from RiboMed leaders.

The future of personalized medicine…

RM_logoImagine a future when getting a noninvasive, multi-disease diagnostic test at your annual medical exam is as common as having your temperature or blood pressure taken. Imagine tests that can detect early biomarkers of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism or heart disease long before symptoms present. Imagine that when disease is detected, doctors can prescribe a treatment plan designed specifically for you.

Can you imagine?  We can!  And we’re working each day to achieve that goal.

Dr. Edward Gelmann now on board

RiboMed has added Dr. Edward Gelmann to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Gelmann is the chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine and deputy director for clinical research in the cancer center at the Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Gelmann’s lab has been at the forefront of work on NKX3.1, a protein solely expressed in the prostate and shown to be the prostate cancer suppressor protein first downregulated at initiation of prostate cancer. Before coming to CUMC, Dr. Gelmann was chief of the Division of Clinical Sciences in the Department of Oncology at Georgetown University. He also directed the Clinical Research Management Office and the Program in Growth Regulation of Cancer at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a graduate of Stanford University Medical School and received his oncology training at the National Cancer Institute.

RiboMed Scientific Advisory Board Member to Receive Nobel Prize in Medicine

RiboMed is thrilled to extend our congratulations to Dr. Mario Capecchi, one of RiboMed’s Scientific Advisory Board members. Dr. Capecchi has been chosen to share this year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine. Dr. Capecchi’s pioneering work in gene targeting has applications in virtually all areas of biomedicine. His knock-out mice revolutionized the study of specific gene function.

RiboMed Honored as One of “Arizona Companies to Watch” & “Spotlight Company”:

Arizona Business AwardeeRiboMed Biotechnologies, Inc. was recognized as one of the Arizona Companies to Watch, an awards program hosted by the Arizona Small Business Association in collaboration with the Edward Lowe Foundation. RiboMed received extra attention when they were given a special Spotlight Award for their performance in the area of change.

“Dr. Hanna’s advocacy has helped “change the future economy of our state.” said ASBA CEO Joan Koerber-Walker.  RiboMed also received praise from City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. “Dr. Michelle Hanna and the whole RiboMed team have had just a phenomenal impact on the city of Phoenix. Dr. Hanna and all of RiboMed have been considered the pioneers in biotech engineering, and that effect has been profound on the city of Phoenix”, he said. “We want to thank you.”

RiboMed News 2002

RiboMed Receives DARPA Contract for Pathogen Work

Phoenix (November 19, 2002): RiboMed (trade name for Designer Genes, Inc.), a valley-based translational genomics company developing novel genetic detection technologies, was awarded a $211,000 contract from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the primary research and development center for the Department of Defense. The primary goal of the contract is to develop the signal-generating system for a portable device that will allow the rapid and specific detection of anthrax and other biological materials in humans or the environment. This will be a field device which can detect the presence of specific pathogens without the need for sophisticated, laboratory-based analysis.

“RiboMed is currently completing development of its RiboMaker™ Detection System, a rapid, isothermal, signal amplification system for the detection of target DNA, RNA, or protein. This should be the ideal signal generation chemistry for this device,” said Dr. Michelle Hanna, RiboMed president and CEO. “It is not a target amplification technology, nor a true signal amplification technology. Rather, it uses our proprietary technology, Abscription™. It will greatly facilitate the early detection of pathogens in the field.”

Most current technologies used for the detection and identification of anthrax require that samples be processed in a laboratory using expensive and sophisticated equipment. Most involve the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is inhibited by components in blood and many of the detergents used in pathogen DNA isolation. Abscription™ is far more robust and is not inhibited by many of these compounds. Thus, it is ideal for a field device of this type.

Designer Genes, Inc. Changes Its Name to RiboMed: Phoenix (November 18, 2002). Designer Genes, Inc., a valley-based translational genomics company specializing in the development of products for the early detection of diseases such as cancer and anthrax, is now doing business under the name RiboMed. The name change was made to more accurately reflect the company’s focus on ribonucleic acid (RNA) based technology.

“We changed the name because RiboMed more accurately represents our technology,” said company president and CEO, Dr. Michelle Hanna. “We are developing medical products utilizing proprietary nucleic acid chemistry that is primarily based on RNA. Our future therapeutics will be “ribotoxic drugs”, which will impair RNA metabolic pathways to inhibit uncontrolled cell division. RiboMed captures that dual focus and is unique in the marketplace.”

ACE Awards RiboMed “Talk of the Town”

ACEPhoenix (November 18, 2002): RiboMed (trade name of Designer Genes, Inc.), a company developing genetic-based disease detection technologies, was honored with “The Talk of the Town” award for Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) this month. The ACE Awards, sponsored by the Arizona Business Journal, KPMG, Brown & Bain, P.A., Comerica, and Momentum Interactive, is a newly created program to honor the 100 fastest growing companies in Arizona.

RiboMed, currently in its third year of operation in Phoenix, has received local attention because of its biotechnology and translational genomics focus and the efforts of company president and CEO, Dr. Michelle Hanna, to help recruit the International Genomics Consortium (IGC) to Arizona. Hanna was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on IGC, serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona BioIndustry Cluster, and continues to work with community leaders on the Flinn Foundation Project Steering Committee to develop a Roadmap for Arizona’s Future in the Biosciences.

“The ACE award is such an honor,” Hanna said. “It’s great to know that RiboMed has people talking and thinking about the phenomenal potential for growth in the biotechnology sector here in Arizona. We hope that having the IGC here will help to attract other biotechnology companies to the state and spawn new companies to commercialize technologies already under development at our Universities.”