Byron Hewett appointed as new SomaLogic CEO

Byron Hewett appointed as new SomaLogic CEO

12/3/2013

The Board of Directors of SomaLogic Inc. (a privately held biotechnology company) announced today that Byron Hewett has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective Dec 2, 2013. SomaLogic was founded in 2000 by its original  CEO, Larry Gold, who will continue as Chairman of the Board. Dr. Gold will also continue to work full time at SomaLogic, advising the new CEO and other senior management leaders.

“Our first decade at SomaLogic was dedicated to building an innovative new class of aptamers, creating an opportunity for new therapeutics and a transformational proteomics technology, and we have been hugely successful in doing that,” said Dr. Gold. “Now, to reach our commercial goals and our ultimate mission of transforming healthcare, it was clear to me that we needed additional leadership with the deep business experience and knowledge to take SomaLogic to the next level. I believe that Byron Hewett is exactly the leader we need at this critical stage of our company’s growth, and we are very fortunate to have found him, and to have him agree to join us here in Boulder.”

“I am excited to join SomaLogic’s impressive team to help expand  adoption of their stunning technology across the health care continuum,” said Mr. Hewett. “The opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of people around the world is a rare one, and I believe that what SomaLogic has developed under Larry’s leadership promises to do just that. I am grateful to the Board and to Larry for putting their trust in me to help achieve this mission, which is at the heart of SomaLogic.”

Byron Hewett has 25+ years of commercial experience, almost entirely in the area of diagnostics. Most recently, he served as Chairman and CEO of BioBehavioral Diagnostics (BioBDx), a company offering the first FDA-cleared objective test for ADHD using proprietary technology. BioBDx was acquired by NCS Pearson in August 2013 as a key component to execute their strategy in ADHD.

Prior to his work with BioBDx, Mr. Hewett was President and CEO of Immunicon, an oncology diagnostics company, where he had previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, cancer products. He has also served as SVP of Sales and Marketing and General Manager, North America for Qiagen, Inc., and held leadership positions at Abbott Diagnostics, Chiron/Bayer, and BioCircuits.


Academic collaborators present findings from use of SOMAscan for cancer biomarker discovery

Academic collaborators present findings from use of SOMAscan for cancer biomarker discovery

4/3/2013

Academic scientists from major biomedical research institutions came together on March 25, 2013, to describe how they have applied SOMAscan to their efforts to find disease biomarkers in several types of cancer. The archived webinar is now available for viewing (following registration).

Together with collaborators from both the private and public sectors, SomaLogic scientists have analyzed the proteomics of >8000 blood and tumor tissue samples to discover diagnostic, prognostic and mechanistic biomarkers of malignancy. The web symposium covers part of that work, and features presentations by Harvey Pass, M.D. (New York University  – malignant mesothelioma), Geoff Baird, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Washington, Seattle – lung cancer tissue proteomics), and Randall Brand, M.D. (University of Pittsburgh — pancreatic cancer).


Web Symposium on lung disease proteomics available for download

Web Symposium on lung disease proteomics available for download

2/11/2013

 

On February 7, 2013, scientists from SomaLogic presented a web symposium on the work done to date in applying SOMAscan to finding and vaildating biomarkers of several lung diseases. The archive of this event is now available for free download after registration at the host site. Below is a brief description of the presentation content.

“We have analyzed the proteomics of >3500 samples from a range of pulmonary diseases, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), lymphangioleiiomyomatosis (LAM), acute lung injury (ALI), cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this symposium we present data and results from these studies that demonstrate the utilization of proteomics to better understand biology, diagnosis, and treatment of lung disorders.”


CU-Boulder renames bioscience building in honor of Larry Gold

CU-Boulder renames bioscience building in honor of Larry Gold

2/1/2013

 

On February 1, 2012, the University of Colorado Boulder renamed its MCDB (Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology) building the “Gold Bioscience Building” in honor of SomaLogic CEO and Chairman Larry Gold.

Gold has taught at CU-Boulder since 1970, and served as chair of the MCDB department from 1988 to 1992, laying the groundwork for the building that now bears his name, which opened in 1995. He has also launched several successful biotech companies, and received numerous awards for his teaching and his research (full bio here).

“I would like this building to be a place in which great science is done by great faculty with great students and post-docs and others,” Gold said at the renaming ceremony. “I suggest that in this building, named after me today as a beautiful gift, you must ask yourselves ‘why am I doing this and what benefit will people gain from my work.’”

 


SomaLogic and Emerald Bio publish first crystal structure of a SOMAmer bound to its target

SomaLogic and Emerald Bio publish first crystal structure of a SOMAmer bound to its target

11/5/2012

 

Bedford MA and Boulder CO – November 5, 2012

The molecular structure of a SOMAmer (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagent bound to its specific protein has been revealed for the first time by a team of scientists from Emerald Bio and SomaLogic in a manuscript published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Their analyses demonstrate the molecular basis for the vast improvement in protein binding by SOMAmers as compared to traditional aptamers, emphasizing that SOMAmers represent an entirely new class of molecular “affinity reagents” with multiple useful applications in life sciences and medicine.

“The structure of a SOMAmer bound to platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-BB) is only the first ‘glimpse’ into the astonishing array of novel molecular shapes that can be achieved by the SOMAmer technology” said Doug Davies, Senior Project Leader at Emerald Bio.  “And it potentially represents an entirely new approach for studying and crystallizing difficult proteins.”

SOMAmers are based on traditional aptamers, short single strands of nucleic acids with specific folded shapes that can bind proteins and other biomolecules. However, the nucleotides used to make SOMAmers are modified by the addition of protein-like “side-chains” to the nucleotide bases themselves, which exponentially increases the number of unique shapes, as well as the binding affinity and specificity of each SOMAmer for its particular protein target.

“We have already demonstrated the huge advantages of SOMAmers for expanding the range of protein targets previously inaccessible to traditional aptamers. The current study with our colleagues at Emerald has now provided us with a clear structural basis of those advantages at a molecular level” said Nebojsa Janjic, Chief Science Officer of SomaLogic. “This work is a compelling demonstration of the enormous potential of SOMAmers as both diagnostic reagents and therapeutics.”

SomaLogic has developed more than 1500 SOMAmer reagents to date, with over 1100 of those already being used (in a multiplex assay called “SOMAscan™”) in biomarker discovery, drug discovery and development, and life sciences. In addition, several individual SOMAmers are under development as potential therapeutic molecules in their own right.  These applications are underway both at SomaLogic and in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical and clinical diagnostic companies.

Several other SOMAmer-protein pair structures have been analyzed in addition to the SOMAmer — PDGF-BB structure described in the PNAS article published today, all demonstrating the unique properties and utility of this new class of binding reagent.

The PNAS article, entitled “Unique Motifs and Hydrophobic Interactions Shape the Binding of Modified DNA Ligands to Proteins Targets” by D.R. Davies et al., will be published the week of November 5, 2012. Once published, the entire manuscript can be accessed at: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1213933109.

About Emerald Bio
Emerald Bio is a contract research organization that provides collaborative drug discovery services to pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and government facilities.  Emerald is developing new technologies to study difficult proteins including the engineered expression, protein production and crystal structure determination of GPCRs and integral membrane proteins. The company operates a high-throughput platform leveraged for fragment-based lead discovery and structure-based drug design.

About SomaLogic
SomaLogic, Inc., is a privately held biomarker discovery and clinical diagnostics company based in Boulder, Colorado. The company’s mission is to use its proprietary proteomic technology to develop enhanced protein analysis tools and reagents for the life sciences community, to facilitate biomarker discovery and validation for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, and to develop and commercialize clinical diagnostic products that will improve the delivery of healthcare by offering timely and accurate diagnostic information to physicians and their patients. Further information about SomaLogic can be found at http://test.somalogic.com.

About SOMAscan™/SOMAmers™
SomaLogic’s proprietary SOMAscan™ proteomic technology platform underlies a rapidly growing number of new diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. The power of the SOMAscan platform comes from its use of a new generation of nucleic acid-based protein-binding reagents, called SOMAmers™ (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamers). The unique physical properties of SOMAmers empower the accurate detection and measurement of thousands of proteins over a wide range of concentrations in small volumes of biological samples, all in a single SOMAscan assay.