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Woburn, MA, United States

The present disclosure provides methods and kits for treating and classifying individuals at risk of or suffering from a neurological dysfunction or disorder. In general, the individuals are treated and/or classified based on the presence of a loss-of-function mutation in nuclear DNA that encodes choline O-acetyltransferase (ChAT). Treatment involves the administration of a therapeutically effective amount of an acetylcholinesterase (ACNE) inhibitor.

Courtagen Life Sciences | Date: 2014-07-25

The invention is directed to methods of removing amplicons of non target and/or target nucleic acid sequences having one or more modified (e.g., methylated) nucleotides from a sample wherein the sample comprises the non target nucleic acid and a target nucleic acid sequence to be amplified.

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bunker Hill Capital, a leading Boston based private equity investor in lower middle market companies, announced that it has made a growth equity investment in Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc. (“Courtagen” or the “Company”). Headquartered in Woburn, MA, Courtagen is a diagnostic testing services business founded in 2009 by Brian and Brendan McKernan, who currently serve as CEO and President, respectively. In 2012, they were joined by their brother, Kevin McKernan, who currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer. “Courtagen is led by an exceptional management team that has successfully executed similar strategies and delivered superior returns to shareholders previously,” said Mark DeBlois, Managing Partner of Bunker Hill Capital. “The McKernan’s deep and technical knowledge of gene sequencing as a service and their proven ability to target and commercialize clearly defined new markets were critical factors in our decision to invest in Courtagen. In addition, the McKernans are significantly invested in the business, giving us further confidence that they are deeply committed to the long-term success of the Company”. The current funding round will accelerate the expansion of Courtagen’s commercial operations, including expanding sales and marketing and laboratory capacity while also providing working capital to meet the growing needs of the business. “We welcome Bunker Hill Capital to our extended team and the fresh perspective they bring”, said Brian McKernan, CEO of Courtagen. “There is an explosive growth opportunity in Next Generation Sequencing diagnostic testing, and the strong interest in Courtagen from an institutional investor like Bunker Hill Capital underscores the market’s recognition of the value and positive impact we provide to doctors, patients and their families.” Courtagen is a privately held life sciences and molecular information company that converts genomic data into actionable clinical information for the diagnosis of critical pediatric neurological and metabolic disorders. Specifically, Courtagen focuses on mitochondrial disorders, epilepsy, and intellectual disability, including autism spectrum disorders. Courtagen’s state-of-the art Next Generation Sequencing clinical laboratory integrates cloud-based computing and custom analytical methods to provide the most comprehensive genetic information to clinicians, patients, and their families to help diagnose diseases and guide treatment decisions. For more information on Courtagen, please visit www.courtagen.com. Bunker Hill Capital is a private equity firm that makes investments in lower middle market companies with enterprise values up to $120 million. The principals of Bunker Hill Capital have invested over $530 million in 34 transactions and target opportunities across four industry sectors including industrial products, business services, consumer products and specialty retail. Bunker Hill Capital’s current portfolio company investments include California Family Fitness, the leading owner and operator of fitness centers in the greater Sacramento, California area; Papa Gino’s/D’Angelo, a dominant quick service restaurant operator in New England; Smith & Wollensky, a premier steakhouse concept in the United States; SunBriteTV, the world’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of all-weather outdoor televisions and related accessories; Rizing, a leading SAP services firm; Dyno, the exclusive licensee of the Singer brand for sewing accessories and producer and marketer of holiday decorative home products; Hubbardton Forge, a Vermont based premier designer and manufacturer of branded hand-forged premium lighting fixtures; ASPEQ Heating Group, a manufacturer of highly engineered electric heating and thermal management technologies; and Courtagen, a diagnostic testing services company. For more information on Bunker Hill Capital, please visit www.bunkerhillcapital.com.

WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc., an innovative molecular information company, announced today the appointment of Reymundo Lozano, MD to the company’s Clinical and Strategic Advisory Board. “Dr. Lozano has deep domain knowledge in pediatric genetics, specifically in the areas of intellectual disabilities and the autism spectrum disorders,” states Brian McKernan, Chief Executive Officer of Courtagen. “We look forward to benefiting from Dr. Lozano’s insights as we continue to build a world class molecular information company.” Dr. Lozano is a Pediatric Geneticist, who has dedicated his research to better understanding the molecular basis of genetic disorders associated with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). He is an International Medical Graduate from Mexico and completed his subspecialty studies at UCLA. He specializes in the treatment of neurodevelopmental genetic syndromes including fragile X syndrome (FXS), Angelman syndrome, 15q duplication syndrome, 22q11 microdeletion syndrome, and Noonan syndrome and other RASopathies. His work focuses on different clinical trials for ASD and FXS. Dr. Lozano is dedicated to finding better treatments, and eventually the cure for neurodevelopmental disorders. He is also studying the phenotypic variability of fragile X premutation carries and the additive effects of other “genetic hits” and environmental exposures. He pursues the genetic diagnosis of ASD, using cutting edge technology, including microarrays, mitochondrial function, and whole exome sequencing. Courtagen is a privately held life sciences and molecular information company that converts genomic data into actionable clinical information for the diagnosis of critical pediatric neurological and metabolic disorders. Specifically, Courtagen focuses on mitochondrial disorders, epilepsy, and intellectual disability, including autism spectrum disorders. Courtagen’s state-of-the-art Next-Generation Sequencing clinical laboratory integrates genotype, phenotype, and disease mechanism data using cloud-based computing and custom analytical methods to provide the most comprehensive results for clinicians, patients, and their families to better understand and treat their disease. More information can be found at www.courtagen.com.

WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Medicinal Genomics Corporation, a pioneer in the genomics of medicinal plants, today announced the availability of SenSATIVAx™, a highly robust and automated microbial DNA purification kit for Cannabis. SenSATIVAx™ is a proprietary DNA isolation chemistry that uses magnetic microparticles to isolate and purify both plant and microbial DNA from a raw homogenized sample. SenSATIVAx is a highly effective and extremely efficient DNA purification system that can be automated using a 96-well head robot. DNA can be isolated from a single sample or a large batch in less than 30 minutes. The core magnetic particle technology inside of SenSATIVAx™ is one of the most efficient and effective DNA purification chemistries that was utilized by scientists who worked on the Human Genome Project. "We see a continued customer need to have improved methods for isolating and purifying DNA from Cannabis. The SenSATIVAx™ Plant / Microbial DNA Purification Kit addresses this by providing significantly improved DNA recovery in a scalable and automated processing format, enabling researchers to streamline their up-front sample preparation. High quality DNA that is free of cannabinoids, and is PCR and Next Generation Sequencing compatible, is the first step in being able to rapidly share the genetics of the plant," stated Kevin McKernan, Medicinal Genomics Chief Scientific Officer. Jessica Tonani, CEO of Verda Bio stated: “Medicinal Genomics’ SenSATIVAx™ Plant / Microbial DNA Purification Kit is quick and easy to use, requires minimal equipment, and produces a high quality purified DNA. These samples perform well in a variety of genomic applications, including microbial safety testing and research into plant genetics.” Michael Kahn, CEO of MCR Labs states: “We are using the Medicinal Genomics platform in all our microbiological contaminants testing. SenSATIVAx™ is a brilliant, scalable technology, and MGC is a reliable partner.” Medicinal Genomics Corporation applies state-of-the-art life science technology to Cannabis plant genetics. Our products help growers, dispensaries, and quality-testing labs characterize and understand the quality and safety of medicinal Cannabis. Medicinal Genomics utilizes a highly sophisticated Next Generation Sequencing laboratory, proprietary bioinformatics system, and DNA based technologies to deliver unmatched technical solutions to decipher the genetic code and quality level of medicinal Cannabis. Medicinal Genomics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc. Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc., located in Woburn, MA, is a CLIA/CAP certified molecular information company focused on the diagnosis of a range of neurological disorders. Courtagen operates a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art Next-Generation DNA Sequencing, Bioinformatics, and clinical interpretation business. Courtagen’s work helps physicians elucidate the linkages between the genotypes and phenotypes of various neurological diseases.

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