Ohio State, Cincy company partner to create health care startup

Wexner Medical Center and Cincinnati-based Allostatix have teamed to launch a new startup with a tall order: identifying and preventing chronic illness.

Dubbed P44U, the startup will offer approaches to personalized health care in a new field known as P4 Medicine− short for Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, and Participatory Medicine.

“Using extremely sophisticated analytics, we have the ability to test a healthy person and predict, with scientific accuracy, how an individual’s wellness is today and what it will be in three to five years,” says Gordon Horwitz, founder and CEO of Allostatix. “The testing results are personalized to the nth degree.”

The concept for P44U was conceived by Clay Marsh, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Personalized Health Care and vice dean for research in the College of Medicine.

“The goal of P44Uand P4 Medicine is to enable the delivery of key evidence-based practices to reduce health care costs and improve outcomes,” says Marsh. “This methodology leverages the interface between an individual’s unique DNA, environment, and behavior to promote health and wellness, ultimately delivering higher quality health care to our patients.”

P44U will use advances in genomics and molecular diagnostics to provide predictive information necessary to tailor, or personalize, disease management approaches for individuals.

Brian Cummings, vice president of technology commercialization for Ohio State, contends that P44U has considerable potential given that the health care industry is desperate for new tools that more accurately track, monitor, and motivate patients toward a healthier lifestyle

As with any new intellectual property, the Technology Commercialization Office (which Cummings oversees) assessed the potential of the technology, as well as the willingness of the parties to work together.

“It was a synergistic relationship between OSU’s P4 Medicine program and Allostatix, so the formation of a new company was an easy next step,” Cummings says, adding that the P44U platform could become a standard for health and wellness screening across the country.

Given Allostatix’s specialty −predicting disease and premature death in healthy people− it’s arguable that the company is an ideal partner in the P44U endeavor. And so far, Horwitz is pleased with what Ohio State has brought to the table.

“The level of commitment and professional expertise from the TCO and OSUMC staff has exceeded my expectations,” Horwitz says. “We are delighted to have such a well-respected, forward-thinking institution like The Ohio State University as a partner in bringing our Allostatix Risk Prediction Systems to the world.”