University of Pennsylvania Cofounds BluePen Biomarkers for Improved Biomarker Discovery

The University of Pennsylvania is helping to advance personalized medicine through improved biomarker discovery. In collaboration with Blueprint Bio, Inc. and Emerald Logic, Inc., the University has co-founded and structured BluePen Biomarkers to conduct biomarker research and identification. Ultimately, the new company is focused on developing a comprehensive biomarker measurement and discovery pipeline for the acceleration of personalized medicine.

The two other parties in this collaboration, Emerald Logic and Blueprint Bio, were founded with the goal of making personalized medicine a reality. Emerald Logic is helping to achieve this through their integrated ‘omics precision analytics platform that is capable of modeling the underlying biology of disease regardless of the number or complexity of available biomarkers, lab assessments, clinical history, and demographics. Meanwhile, Blueprint Bio is working to create a validated marketplace for biomarkers signatures in personalized medicine.

“This is innovation at its core—a results-focused collaboration of academics, private industry, and research partners around the world dedicated to improving upon existing knowledge of biomarkers through a ‘big science’ approach,” Michael Poisel, the Penn Center for Innovation’s Director of PCI Ventures, said in a statement.

BluePen will work with Ian Blair, PhD, the A.N. Richards Professor of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics and Director of Center for Cancer Pharmacology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, to measure and integrate genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic biomarkers, alongside clinical data, demographics, and other phenotypic data, to provide customers and other collaborators with access to a comprehensive “multi-omics” discovery platform. Through this joint venture, the University’s goal is to radically improve and accelerate the discovery of relevant biomarkers, without bias toward single genes, single modalities, or inappropriate mathematical assumptions.

“Our fundamental conviction is that any intervention that has a predictable biologic outcome will have a detectable biomarker signature,” Blair said in a statement. “The challenge is to detect the signature. BluePen’s comprehensive multi-omics platform, married to Emerald Logic’s bio-inspired signal processing analytic approach, provides a powerful solution.”

BluePen will be led by CEO Matthew Nunez who has focused on the creation of a network of collaborative clinical and research institutions that can contribute biofluid samples and patient data—further augmenting the value of the platform.

“Our goal at BluePen is to help bridge biologic discoveries to clinical purpose,” Nunez said in a statement. “We have been working with researchers in oncology, inflammatory diseases, neurological disorders, and a variety of other areas of interest, to identify and validate discoveries that can mitigate human suffering while decreasing treatment costs.”

Dawn Bonnell, PhD, Vice Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania, adds: “The BluePen Biomarkers partnerships illustrate how creative collaboration enables discoveries in academic research to translate into medical advances.”


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