Finalists: Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools

Nov 4, 2015

Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools

This category encompasses the heart and soul of San Diego’s innovation economy. As an internationally known destination for Life Science research and companies this category always brings out the best that San Diego has to offer, which is really the best the world has to offer. Finalists for the Most Innovative New Product in the category of Life Science Diagnostics & Research Tools are:

CureMetrix for CureMetrix

CureMetrix image analysis platform quantifies the qualities of anomalies in images. As a first target they’ve focused on doing early and accurate detection of breast cancer in mammograms along with reducing unnecessary biopsies.

CureMetrix’s algorithm is more powerful than anything else on the market. Smarter, faster, more lightweight, and more accurate. CureMetrix exists to use this powerful algorithm to save lives, save money, improve patient and business outcomes, and in short change the world.

Development of the CureMetrix technology began in 2004 and our algorithm was first deployed at NASA in 2006. Since that initial contract with NASA to help predictably model space weather, CureMetrix has deployed thier algorithm into 8 different domains for a variety of organizations. Over the last 8 years they’ve used thier algorithms to develop models for National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD), and a variety of private companies in domains that range from smart grid energy consumption to genomics to cancer treatment.

DermTech for Pigmented Lesion Assay & Adhesive Patch Skin Biopsy Kit

DermTech’s PLA is a gene expression test for melanoma skin cancer that works with samples collected using DermTech’s Adhesive Skin Biopsy Kit. The test and kit create a completely non-surgical, highly accurate platform to facilitate the diagnosis of melanoma.

DermTech President & CEO, John Dobak, MD, has served as Founder and CEO of several venture-backed life science companies in San Diego that have developed and marketed therapeutics, ranging from endovascular hypothermia to treat cardiac arrest to catheter-based treatments for cardiac arrhythmias.

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

John Dobak, MD: Our biggest achievement to date has been getting our first commercial revenue from third party payors. That milestone encompasses all of our achievements, including the validation of the PLA test in 5 trials and 1000 samples, demonstrating improved diagnostic performance by clinicians, and getting our CLIA laboratory licensed and up and running.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Dr. Dobak: This is an extremely novel technology that is the first non-invasive gene expression platform for dermatology. We had to develop an adhesive patch skin biopsy, identify unique gene markers, and validate a challenging process with picogram quantities of RNA.

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Dr. Dobak: San Diego is one of the few places in the world where industry, academia, and entrepreneurs come can come together to make game-changing things happen.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go to-app right now?

Dr. Dobak: Spring ninja, try it!

CONNECT: What’s your favorite business blog or book?

Dr. Dobak: IBD’s 10 Keys to Success and John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Dr. Dobak: Recognition in the highly competitive San Diego innovation ecosystem, which is quite an achievement.


GattaCo’s CENTREPON will usher in a new era of healthcare services by enabling advanced medical diagnostics that produce accurate, lab-quality results, but can be done anywhere. CENTREPON, a Centrifuge Replacement Tool for use at the Point of Need.

 Michael R. McNeely, Ph.D., President of GattaCo, took some time to give us an insider’s view of how he thinks and what’s great about San Diego. Dr. McNeely earned a Ph.D. degree in BioEngineering from the University of Utah, and an MS degree, also in BioEngineering, at the University of California at San
Diego. His research included developing novel microfabrication techniques and the study of microcirculatory fluid dynamics, biosensor design, and surface modification methods.

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Michael R. McNeely, Ph.D.: My family

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Dr. McNeely: I’m right in the middle of it  – my current effort to move GattaCo forward – ask me again in about 6 months!

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Dr. McNeely: San Diego is not only a major U.S. life science hub, but it’s also a great place to live and work.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go-to app right now?

Dr. McNeely: INRIX Traffic and LinkedIn

Come back next week as we highlight the Finalists in the Mobile Apps and Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices Cateogries. AND Join us on December 1st to find out who will be named the Most Innovative New Products for 2015! For more information on the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards visit the event page!