Courtesy of The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – 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.
Oklahoma City-based Moleculera Labs received the overall 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 unfortunately result in molecular mimicry, which cross-react 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, said Dr. Craig Shimasaki, Moleculera co-founder and CEO.
Moleculera Labs has a testing panel to help children suffering from such disorders and give their parents hope for a better future.
“This testing panel was developed by Dr. (Madeleine) Cunningham, who also discovered that certain infectious agents in children, such as streptococci (strep), produce antibodies that target the bacteria but also target certain neurological receptors in the brain,” Shimasaki said. “Over the past 18 months, Dr. Cunningham’s research laboratory has clinically tested over 1,000 affected children with a proprietary panel of five clinical assays, which when these integrated results are interpreted, can identify the nature of these conditions.”
Based on the test results, patients have been treated at the National Institute of Mental Health and at other private practices with remarkable results. Patients with positive integrated test results from the Cunningham panel have been treated effectively, but therapies are not typically prescribed without some tests showing that the underlying cause may be autoimmune in nature.
“We may find that many other autistic disorders which include tics may have autoimmune involvement, and these individuals may be suitable candidates for such testing also,” said Shimasaki. “If autoimmune antibodies are continually found to negatively affect the brain and behavior, it may eventually change the way we diagnose and treat mental disorders.”
Moleculera Labs was founded in 2011.
Sponsors for this year’s Innovator of the Year event were i2e, Crowe & Dunlevy, Ernst & Young LLP and Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.
AliveCor’s Dr. David Albert was the keynote speaker for the event. Albert won the overall 2012 Journal Record Innovator of the Year award for his development of Smartphone ECG, a device designed to enable every smartphone, tablet and laptop user to perform a clinical quality ECG at any time, in any place, and at a fraction of the current ECG cost.
Other Innovator of the Year award winners included:
• American Achievers LLC, Oklahoma City.
• American Intellectual LLC, Oklahoma City.
• Associated Material Processing LLC, Stillwater.
• ATC New Technologies, Oklahoma City.
• Business Imaging Systems Inc., Edmond.
• Buzzam Radio, Oklahoma City.
• Chemical Flooding Technologies LLC, Tulsa.
• College Influence, Tulsa.
• Dad’s Plumbing and Drain Service Inc., Oklahoma City.
• DocVia, Tulsa.
• Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Oklahoma, Tulsa.
• EpimedX LLC, Oklahoma City.
• Fieldhouse Media, Oklahoma City.
• Forum Energy Technologies, Elmore City.
• Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City.
• Fresh Surfaces, Oklahoma City.
• Global Software Corp., Oklahoma City.
• Great Plains Microbiology LLC, Oklahoma City.
• Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage, University of Oklahoma, Norman.
• Kimray Inc., Oklahoma City.
• Monscierge, Oklahoma City.
• Oakcreek Community, Stillwater.
• Oklahoma Mesonet, Norman.
• PinLeague, Oklahoma City.
• RaiseMore, Oklahoma City.
• ScanMed QR, Oklahoma City.
• Sensulin, Oklahoma City.
• SpectrumFX, Tulsa.
• TokenEx, Tulsa.
• Turbines Inc., Altus.
• VADovations Inc., Oklahoma City.
• Weather Decision Technologies Inc., Norman.
In addition, Emerging Leaders and Entrepreneurs Rwanda received this year’s Creativity Award at the event. The student-led organization was launched in December 2011 by Rwandan students at Oklahoma Christian University.