OU spinout Moleculera wins overall award at Journal Record Innovator of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY – A University of Oklahoma spinout company, Moleculera Labs, won the overall award at The Journal Record’s Innovator of the Year event honoring business innovation Thursday night at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

Moleculera Labs received the award for its testing of children suffering from forms of neurologic disorders associated with autoimmunity.

Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disease associated with streptococci (PANDAS) are triggered by common infections in children that can result in molecular mimicry and attack normal healthy functions of the body.

These two disorders are treatable conditions if addressed as an underlying autoimmune disorder rather than a neuropsychiatric disorder. The test panel that Moleculera Labs uses to determine if children are suffering from PANS or PANDAS was developed by Dr. Madeleine Cunningham and her lab at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

"We are tremendously excited that Moleculera Labs has licensed Dr. Cunningham's inventions" said Jim Bratton, Executive Director of the Office of Technology Development at OU. "Dr. Shimasaki and his team are uniquely qualified to commercialize this technology to improve the lives of children and their families living with these disorders. This partnership between OU and Moleculera complements Dr. Cunningham's research by bridging the gap between industry and academia, enabling commercialization for the benefit of society and creating a positive economic impact on the state of Oklahoma."

Over the past 18 months, Dr. Cunningham’s research laboratory has clinically tested more than 1,000 children with her test panel. Based on the test results, patients have been treated at the National Institute of Mental Health and at other private practices with positive outcomes.

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