Sunday, April 29, 2012

CIT Invests in Technology

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) in their Gap Fund program has invested $125,000 in a company called iTi Health Inc., whose proprietary technology is able to identify a protein biomarker in the early stages of pancreatic cancer.

iTi Health is very interested in the at-risk population for this disease that comprises an estimated 900,000 individuals per year in the U.S. Tom Weithman, CIT Vice President and GAP Funds Managing Director, said, “Pancreatic cancer of one of the deadliest cancers. With a 5 year survival rate of less than 5 percent, a prognosis has not improved in 40 years.”

iTi Health’s technology PHAGEMARK™ is able to rapidly identify novel disease and drug response targets. The company is focusing on the validation of its imaging product Plectiscan™ to detect the target for pancreatic cancer known as plectin.

In studies on over 100 human pancreatic tumors, there is a 100 percent correlation between cancer presence and the expression of plectin. Plectin is also detected in nearly two-thirds of advanced precancerous lesions, but not in other benign inflammatory conditions of the pancreas such as pancreatitis.

iTi Health Co-Founder and CEO Greg Fralish said, “We see Plectiscan as a transforming diagnostic tool that primary care physicians, surgeons, radiologists, medical oncologists, and gastroenterologists can use.”

The CIT GAP Funds make seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean technology, and life science companies that have a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

For more information on CIT GAP Funds, go to