by Mark Carter
Posted 9/24/2013 09:08 am
Updated 6 months ago
Suzanne Klimberg, director of the breast cancer program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, has been named medical director of Fayetteville's Ascendant Diagnostics.
Klimberg is the co-inventor with Larry Suva of Ascendant's first product, MelodyDx, which is an early-stage breast cancer screening test using the protein profile found in tears.
"Early detection of breast cancer is critical for saving lives, and we hope this technology will help us reach even more women for early screening," Klimberg said in a news release. "While a mammogram is an essential screening tool, we know that many women are reluctant to get mammograms for a variety of reasons, and they'll either delay getting a mammogram or avoid it all together."
MelodyDx is a pain-free and low-cost alternative that Ascendant believes can lead to greater early-stage diagnosis of breast cancer while reducing unecessary exposure to radiation and painful biopsy procedures. Ascendant is a portfolio company of VIC Technology Venture Development in Fayetteville, and is a client firm of Innovate Arkansas and the Arkansas Science & Technology Authority.
Klimberg, a practicing breast surgeon, is a world-renowned researcher. She holds the Muriel Balsam Kohn Chair in Breast Surgical Oncology at UAMS and is a professor of surgery and pathology. In addition, Klimberg is director of Fellowship in Diseases of the Breast at UAMS and the John L. McClellan VA Hospital in Little Rock.
Ascendant CEO Omid Moghadam said Klimberg will be leading clinical validation studies and educating health-care providers about MelodyDx.
"Dr. Klimberg has made significant contributions to improving outcomes for women with breast cancer, and we feel fortunate to have her helping us bring our diagnostic test to market," he said.