ITT Advanced Medical Technologies (Ileri Tip Teknolojileri)

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1 ITT Advanced Medical Technologies (Ileri Tip Teknolojileri) ITT Advanced Medical Technologies (Ileri Tip Teknolojileri) is a biotechnology company (SME) established in Turkey. Its activity area is research, development and implementation of biotechnological services and products and performing related commercial and consultancy activities. Founder and Chairman of ITT, Dr. Serdar Savas has extensive experience in public health in national and international arena. Among his positions in national and international scale, he worked as deputy undersecretary in Turkish Ministry of Health and Deputy Regional Director (DPM) in World Health Organization European Regional Office. He returned to Turkey in 2000 and established BSS - United Health Systems, being the first consultancy company of Turkey working solely for health sector. In 2001, he founded ITT - Advanced Medical Technologies. Working Area ITT aims to transform scientific developments in the area of biotechnology, especially genetics and genomics, into products and services that improves human health, quality of life and performance, and extends life span. ITT has a broad range of working area, mainly on chronic complex diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, neurodegenerative conditions, etc.; nutrigenetics; pharmacogenetics; pregnancy; child growth and development; sports physiology and aging. The R&D activities focus on understanding the underlying genetic and genomic basis of these conditions and developing products based on targeted prevention and treatment strategies.

2 GENAR Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics Research and Implementation Laboratories GENAR Biotechnology and Molecular Genetics Research and Implementation Laboratories are established by ITT in Hacettepe University Science Park in GENAR is the first high-throughput molecular genetic analysis laboratory of Turkey and with its technical infrastructure, the most developed genetic analysis laboratory in the region. GENAR is equipped with high throughput SNP genotyping facilities. A special MALDI- TOF based mass spectrometer (MassARRAY system by Sequenom) is a high throughput platform where around ten thousand genotyping can be made per day. MassARRAY system is a flexible platform where new assay designs can be rapidly made and optimized. GENAR also has sequencing facilities with a DNA Sequencer based on capillary electrophoreses (MegaBace system by Amersham Biosciences). MegaBace is a 96 capillary platform which has the capacity to sequence one million bases per day. GENAR also has all conventional genetic analysis infrastructure. GENAR is working with a group of experts and national and international consultants from various expertise areas such as molecular genetics, biology, medical genetics, bioinformatics and engineering. Director of GENAR is Professor Memnune Apak, who is a distinguished scientist and clinician. She has been working in the area of human genetics for over 30 years and has academic, clinical and laboratory management experience in human genetics, molecular genetics and cytogenetics. GENAR is a partner of an EU funded FP6 integrated project called EPICURE - Functional Genomics and Neurobiology of Epilepsy, which aims to develop new therapeutic strategies for epilepsy treatment. The Coordinator of the Project is Istituto Nazionale Neurologico Carlo Besta, represented by Prof. Giuliano Avanzini. The integrated effort for understanding epileptogenesis and pharmacoresistance is expected to contribute to a European leadership in this field of research. EPICURE consortium has a longstanding devotion to epilepsy research and treatment and has a high standing recognition in the international neuroscience community. ITT will contribute to this project by carrying approximately genotyping on 2000 samples collected from Europe. Currently, contract negotiations are about to be completed and the project will be commenced on January 2007.

3 TOGEN Center for Public Health Genomics and Personalized Medicine TOGEN Center for Public Health Genomics and Personalized Medicine is established in Hacettepe Science Park, by ITT. The mission of TOGEN is to catalyse transfer of developments in genetics to the health of individuals with a public health vision. TOGEN is a know-how based research, development and implementation infrastructure, where various experts and national and international consultants from different disciplines and specialties are working together, such as genetics and genomics, different specialties of medicine, nutrition, public health, law, psychology, pharmacology, bioinformatics and information technologies. TOGEN is preparing informative activities and trainings for academic and practicing health care professionals on public health genomics and personalized medicine. TOGEN is the third public health genomics center in Europe and a cooperating institute of PHGEN Public Health Genomics European Network. The first two centers of Europe are Cambridge Public Health Genetics Unit and German Center of Public Health Genomics, Bielefeld. PHGEN is an EU funded project, which aims to conduct a networking exercise on Public Health Genomics (PHG) covering all EU Member States, Applicant Countries, and EFTA-EEA countries. In the long run, PHGEN will serve the European Commission as an early detection unit for horizon scanning, fact finding, and monitoring of the integration of genome-based knowledge into public health. Dr. Serdar Savas, the founder and Chairman of TOGEN, is a Steering Committee Member of PHGEN. Among partners of PHGEN, TOGEN initiated the first Public Health Genomics National Task Force meeting in Turkey on 19 June 2006, with the participation of 19 national and international experts. TOGEN is a center that works on diseases that stem from the individuals genetic and genomic interactions with the environmental and lifestyle factors. TOGEN aims to develop targeted prevention and early diagnosis strategies for these diseases. In addition, extension of the life span of individuals, improving the quality of life and individuals performance is among the working areas of TOGEN. TOGEN has the capacity to develop the methods and techniques to conceptualize, develop and implement comprehensive and integrated models in these areas.

4 Activities of ITT Activities of ITT can be grouped in four main areas: 1) Research projects in collaboration with universities A major R&D orientation of ITT (through GENAR and TOGEN) is genetic polymorphisms and mutations, especially in chronic and complex diseases. R&D projects are being prepared and carried out in collaboration with various universities, including Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University School of Nutrition and Istanbul University Institute for Experimental Medicine. 2) Research and development projects within EU Framework Programmes The first example to this kind of projects is EPICURE - Functional Genomics and Neurobiology of Epilepsy, which is mentioned above. 3) Products developed by ITT An example to this group of activities is GentestVital, which is an original model that has been developed by ITT. Test involves genetic predisposition to common chronic and complex diseases and disease causing bioprocesses such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, inflammation, etc. Together with genetic analysis results, GentestVital, analyses current nutrition and lifestyle of individuals with special proprietary softwares using complex algorithms. Based on these results, a comprehensive personalized optimum lifestyle plan is drown. 4) Molecular genetic analysis services As an example, GENAR is preparing molecular genetic analysis test for hereditary breast cancer, which includes screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. ITT have strategic partnerships with various other institutions in Turkey and around Europe and USA. The liaison offices are situated in Southampton UK and Boston USA.

5 Potential Contribution of ITT to FP7 projects In our opinion, biological processes related to chronic and complex diseases are very important areas for research and development, since Europe has a rapidly increasing aging population and chronic and complex diseases are the major source of burden of disease of this aging population. Identification of new mutations or establishing the functions of currently known genetic variants of genes related to complex diseases is a major research area. Based on such research, targeted prevention and therapy strategies can be developed for various conditions including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, oteoporosis, cancers, etc. For this, identification and validation of susceptibility alleles and establishing genotype-phenotype correlations is an important step. Successful completion of this task can potentially provide material for future commercial exploitation in the field of routine genetic testing through the development of diagnostic kits and research reagents tools. GENAR, as mentioned above, has the capability of contributing to projects as a highthroughput molecular genetics laboratory; where activities such as molecular epidemiologic studies in population cohorts and comparative genetic studies in reference populations can be carried out. In addition, TOGEN has a strong network on aging related disciplines; including universities, hospitals, clinicians, international organisations, NGOs and the Ministry of Health in Turkey. This network is especially important to get relevant support for the project and to provide the needed amount of patients if a population from Turkey is also involved in the project. Taking into consideration the technical and innovative R&D capacities of our company ITT Advanced Medical Technologies, we believe that we may take a role both as an SME and a Research Center and be of service as an effective partner for genetic analysis and or clinical research projects, especially related to chronic complex diseases and aging processes, and activities related to high-throughput genotyping. Calls we can collaborate are listed (but not limited to) below: HEALTH : Molecular epidemiological studies in existing well characterised European (and/or other) population cohorts. HEALTH : Comparative studies of genetic variation in humans: towards a reference population in Europe. HEALTH : Genome-wide association studies in mammalian non-rodent models for the identification of genes relevant to human health and disease.

6 HEALTH : Neurobiology of anxiety disorders. HEALTH : Childhood and adolescent mental disorders. HEALTH : Biomarkers of ageing. HEALTH : Epidemiology of gene-environment interactions involved in carcinogenesis. HEALTH : Integrating pharmacogenomic approaches into the treatment of CVD. HEALTH : Geno- and phenotypical differentiation of type 2 subjects and monogenic subjects. HEALTH : Inflammatory bowel disease. HEALTH : Genetic factors of Osteoporosis. HEALTH : Intervertebral disc degeneration: prevention and repair. HEALTH : Studying cancer aetiology in Latin America. HEALTH : High throughput molecular diagnostics in individual patients for genetic diseases with heterogeneous clinical presentation. In principle, we have the potential to collaborate in any project where genetic analysis takes place.

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