Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Innovator of the Year: Oklahoma City-Based Moleculera Labs Wins Overall Award

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Innovator of the Year: Oklahoma City-Based Moleculera Labs Wins Overall Award

Article excerpt

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. …

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