How a Eugene startup is using worms to spark medical breakthroughs

By   –  Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal

Most of us don’t give the lowly worm much thought during the course of our day, unless we’re digging in our garden.

For Eugene-based NemaMetrix, the C. elegans nematode worm is the key to finding a cure for a host of human genetic diseases.

NemaMetrix sells a drug discovery platform that allows scientists to quickly assess if a drug has therapeutic value or potentially dangerous side effects. The startup’s ScreenChip System collects data after DNA from a human patient is injected into these simple microscopic animals, which provide a living proxy to watch disease progression or drug reactions quickly and cheaply.

CEO Matt Beaudet believes NemaMetrix has hit on the biggest advancement in drug discovery in decades.

“Honestly, I believe we’re building a platform that will transform access to living animals for basic research and applied research, figuring out what it means for humans,” Beaudet said. “I don’t think there’s a limit to the number of labs we can get in.”

Read the rest of the article at Portland Business Journal.

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