LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Chosen Chosen for BioChallenge Top Prize

Grand Prize

Chosen Diagnostics, a startup company founded by Sunyoung Kim, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology at LSU Health New Orleans, took both the Audience Favorite and the Grand Prize in the 2016 BioChallenge Pitch Competition. The company is a spin-out based upon research conducted by Kim at LSU Health New Orleans that resulted in a novel diagnostic biomarker panel for necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious gastrointestinal disease.

Currently, the primary diagnostic tool is the x-ray, which identifies about 44% of true positives. The Neonatal DDx biomarker panel identifies 93% true positives and 95% true negatives in diagnosing the disease that affects about 6,000 premature infants every year in the US.

Necrotizing enterocolitis results when tissue in the intestine is injured and begins to die. Initial symptoms can be subtle, and the damage can quickly lead to a hole in the intestine, allowing bacteria to leak into the abdomen and cause severe, sometimes overwhelming, infection.

The non-invasive Neonatal DDx biomarker panel has the potential to improve the early detection of this life-threatening disease resulting in earlier treatment and better outcomes for thousands of low birthweight, preterm infants.

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“Dr. Kim’s creation of Chosen Diagnostic demonstrates the very important role that faculty startups play in advancing the commercialization of early-stage university technologies,” notes Patrick Reed, Director of Technology Management at LSU Health New Orleans. “LSU Health New Orleans is committed to supporting our faculty in the pursuit of their entrepreneurial endeavors. This activity allows us to both contribute to local economic development as well as getting our technologies to market for public benefit.”
The BioChallenge is part of Innovation Louisiana, an annual innovation-focused conference hosted by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.