UVA Student and AMPEL Intern 1 of 10 Finalists for Prestigious Science Innovation Award

Posted: Aug 02, 2018 6:23 PM EDTUpdated: Aug 03, 2018 1:02 AM EDT

Edited by Emmy Freedman


A University of Virginia student is up for a prestigious international science innovation award.

She’s one of only 10 in the country that’s in the running for this honor.

Madison Smither, a rising second year, started Students to Scientists in her hometown, where she mentored young girls interested in the STEM field.

She balanced all of this while doing cancer research, and then brought both of those interests to UVA.

Smither is now nominated for the 2018 Nature Research Innovating Science Award.

It celebrates the achievements of women in science and those who encourage others to get involved in STEM.

“It’s not about your background,” says Smither. “It’s not about where you’re from. It’s not about how many resources you have. It’s just really about the problem that you’re trying to solve and really just getting excited about discovery and science.”

In September, Smither will find out if she makes the final five.

Link to News Story and Video

Lupus and Krill Oil? New trial looks to these tiny crustaceans for help

AMPEL BioSolutions is starting a clinical trial that looks at an alternative therapy for lupus, Krill Oil. Studies have shown that patients with lupus tend to be deficient in omega-3. This study looks to see if krill oil can raise omega 3 levels and see if there is an improvement in patients disease.

To learn more about this exciting new study please click the link to a video.




Local biomedical company battling lupus on many fronts

Charlottesville Tomorrow  – June 3, 2018

A Charlottesville company is helping to lead a global scientific effort to better understand and treat lupus, an autoimmune disease sometimes called “the cruel mystery.”

AMPEL Bio Solutions, a biomedical research consultation firm, is involved in multiple clinical trials of new drugs and treatments for lupus. The company hopes to use data from the human genome to develop personalized treatment plans for patients.

Read Full Article Here: http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/30761-local-biomedical-company-battling-lupus-on-many/

NBC 29: New Drug Trail Aims to Help Collect Data to Treat Lupus Patients

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Aired June 2, 2018

A new clinical drug trial in Charlottesville wants to help those struggling with lupus by using a cellphone and a watch to collect data for a more successful treatment.

A majority of the time, if you go to the doctor’s office, you’ll find yourself being asked some sort of question about your symptoms.


ImmunArray Enters Partnership with Kindstar Global

ImmunArray, a privately held molecular device company dedicated to the development of novel, blood-based in vitro diagnostic tests, and Kindstar Global Co., Ltd., a specialty clinical testing company based in Wuhan, China with locations throughout mainland China, have forged a partnership involving shared clinical studies and the launch of ImmunArray’s lupus rule-out test in China as the initial product offering.

The companies will undertake joint clinical testing of up to 500 serum samples from Chinese
patients who are healthy as well as those with symptoms consistent with systemic lupus
erythematosus (SLE) or lupus. The study will support the clinical implementation of
ImmunArray’s SLE-Key Rule-Out® test, which was introduced in U.S. markets in 2016. Previous
clinical trials have found the test delivers a differential diagnosis with >90% sensitivity and
>70% specificity.

ImmunArray will provide training to Kindstar staff in ImmunArray’s Richmond facility and onsite
in the first two labs in China. The detection platform on which the ImmunArray manufactured
iChip® test has been cleared by the CFDA which will facilitate the introduction of the first of the
tests planned for the market.

The diagnosis and treatment of lupus is not simply an American challenge but one that affects
populations around the world. The Chinese population has the second largest prevalence of
lupus in the world with over 1 million patients identified with lupus in that country today.
ImmunArray is working closely with AMPEL BioSolutions, co-founded by Drs. Peter Lipsky and
Amrie Grammer, with whom ImmunArray announced a Strategic Partnership on World Lupus
Day in May 2017. Dr. Lipsky has had the good fortune to provide training to some of the
leaders of the Chinese academic rheumatology community and maintains active collaborations
with many. He will be a co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board with leading Chinese academic
rheumatologists, making recommendations to ImmunArray and Kindstar concerning their joint

“This partnership with Kindstar combines the resources of two innovative diagnostic
companies that are focused on finding solutions to the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases, and
we are extremely excited about the possibilities that this alliance can afford both parties,” said Donna
Edmonds, CEO of ImmunArray.

“The business relationship and expanded market opportunity this provides to Kindstar is an
important part of our strategy to be the premier specialty laboratory in China,” said Shiang
Huang, M.D., Kindstar founder and CEO. “We are focused on providing testing to a growing
number of specialists as they support patient care. This expanded product line for
rheumatologists is another demonstration of that commitment.”

As part of the agreement, Kindstar will acquire the exclusive rights to market ImmunArray’s
SLE-Key Rule-Out test in China. The launch of the product into the Chinese market is tentatively
set for November 2017 and will be formally announced at the internationally attended
American College of Rheumatology annual meeting in San Diego.

About ImmunArray
Founded in 2006 and co-located in Rehovot, Israel and Richmond, Va., ImmunArray’s novel blood-based
testing platform supports the diagnosis and management of complex acute and chronic immune and
neurodegenerative diseases. The company designs and analyzes sets of biomarkers known to be linked
to a particular condition and develops tests on platforms that are most appropriate to facilitate the
adoption of additional tests. The company’s first commercial test, the SLE-Key® Rule-Out Test, is used to
assist physicians in ruling out Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or lupus as part of a differential
diagnosis. The company has a pipeline of products in development to support diagnosis and
management of other auto-immune and neurological diseases.

About Kindstar Co., Ltd.
Founded in 2003 and based in Wuhan, China, Kindstar Global Co., Ltd. provides specialty clinical testing
services throughout China. The company offers esoteric diagnostic testing and laboratory testing
services to Chinese hospitals, including tertiary care hospitals. The company has a long standing
partnership with the Mayo Clinic and has laboratory facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan. It was
formerly known as Wuhan Kindstar Diagnostics Co., Ltd.

For further information please contact:
Kelsey Leavey (U.S)
The Hodges Partnership