Israeli firm opens clinical development center at Roper St. Francis

Staff Report
Published March 25, 2014

An Israeli company has set up its clinical development center at Roper St. Francis’ Clinical Biotechnology Research Institute in Charleston.

NeuroQuest is developing blood-based immune biomarkers that produce early and accurate diagnostic and therapeutic tools for Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which attacks cells that control muscles.

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The company’s local development center will serve as the base for its clinical and regulatory work. NeuroQuest is partnering with national research centers and preparing for clinical studies of its diagnostic test.

SCRA and SCRA Technology Ventures’ SC Launch program recently closed on two rounds of funding for NeuroQuest. The amounts were not disclosed.

“Receipt of these investments is critical in getting our United States development center open and operational,” NeuroQuest CEO Dan Touitou said in a statement. “We thank SCRA, SC Launch and Roper St. Francis for their support, and we look forward to beginning operations in South Carolina.”

NeuroQuest was recruited as part of the annual S.C.-Israel Economic Development Mission, in which business leaders from around the state travel to Israel to build business relationships and recruit industries to the state.

This is the 14th company to enter the state through an SCRA investment and the first as a direct result from the trip.

SCRA, The InterTech Group, the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region, Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina co-sponsor the trip.

In 2012, North Charleston-based The InterTech Group and the Maryland-Israel Trendlines Fund, managed by the Baltimore-based Maryland-Israel Development Center, gave $500,000 in financing to NeuroQuest.

Seed financing for NeuroQuest was provided by the Trendlines Medical Misgav incubator and Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist.

“This substantial financing enables the landing of the affiliate in South Carolina and significant advancement of the technology through clinical trials,” SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney said in a statement.

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