Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Canadians Collaborating with U.S.

ArticDx Inc. located in Canada just announced that a test designed to determine an individual’s inherited risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is available. AMD is a progressive disease associated with aging that causes damage to the macula—the light sensitive cells at the center of the retina at the back of the eye. Over 15 million people in North America are currently affected by AMD and experts estimate that as the population ages, the number of individuals afflicted will double by the year 2020.

Seventy five to eighty percent of all AMD has been traced to genes inherited from family members, but until recently, there wasn’t a way to know who was carrying the genes and at risk. The test Macula Risk® developed by ArticDX makes it possible to know which individuals are carriers.

The test was developed by Dr. Brent Zanke, Chairman and Chief Medical Officer for ArticDx, in collaboration with an international group of independent research scientists. Analytical studies have shown that this test is 100% accurate in identifying AMD genes. Macula Risk® is available as a CLIA-certified laboratory saliva test to anyone who is concerned about a family member or themselves. It is recommended that adults be tested once in their lifetime.

ArticDx will introduce the test in Canada through Clarion Medical Technologies of Cambridge, Ontario. In the U.S, the company is working with a team of U.S. retinal medical advisors along with Dr. Chow that includes Dr Carl Awh (Tennessee Retina), Dr. Tarek Hassan (Associated Retinal Consultants, Michigan), Dr. Phillip Ferrone, (Long Island VitreoRetubak Associates), Dr. Pravin Dugel (Retinal Consultants of Arizona), and Dr. Peter Kaiser (Cole Eye Institute) at the Cleveland Clinic.

In Maryland, Stuart Weinstein, Director of Canadian Relations for Maryland’s Department of Business Development and Investment, reports that his state is trying to entice Canadian companies to invest in Maryland and use the state as their U.S. gateway.

According to Weinstein, there are hundreds of companies in Canada involved in healthcare and with the right investments could create thousands of sustainable jobs in Maryland. The goal is to attract Canadian firms to the U.S. rather than lose the Canadian business to overseas ventures.

Weinstein would like to see the Canadian companies send him a business plan to explain their U.S. expansion objectives over the next 12-60 months window. The businesses also need to provide information on incentives (based on employment created and capital expended) and their goals for creating employment on both sides of the border.

For more information, contact Stuart Weinstein at