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Summit, Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine to Develop Saliva Tests for COVID, Head & Neck Cancer

AURORA, Colo., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Summit Biolabs, Inc., an early-stage molecular diagnostics company specializing in saliva-based testing for COVID-19 and head & neck cancer, and the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus announced today a broad strategic collaboration involving research, development and commercialization of saliva liquid-biopsy tests for early cancer detection and diagnosis of COVID-19 and other viral contagions.

The CCPM holds one of the largest research biobanks in the United States with clinical data from more than 8.7 million de-identified patient records and plans to integrate the data with personalized genomic information.

“This partnership brings two innovative programs together to optimize COVID testing at a time when it’s desperately needed,” says Kathleen Barnes, Ph.D., Professor and Director of CCPM at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Collaborations like this are crucial in moving research forward and advancing and expanding clinical testing to as many members of our community as possible. Working with Summit Biolabs, and leveraging technology developed by our colleagues here at the Anschutz Medical Campus, will help us achieve these goals and establish a non-invasive testing process that will benefit patients in Colorado and beyond.”

Summit Biolabs is developing breakthrough tests to improve the detection of COVID-19 and to advance the early detection of human cancers, including head & neck cancer, using simple, non-invasive saliva liquid-biopsy technology developed by Dr. Shi-Long Lu and colleagues at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Head & neck cancer has been scientifically overlooked, yet is medically important. Summit Biolabs’ research foundation and competency in head & neck cancer diagnosis enabled the company’s pivot to saliva-based testing for coronavirus, COVID-19.

“We are excited to collaborate with CCPM to develop and commercialize Summit Biolabs’ portfolio of developmental saliva or non-blood liquid-biopsy tests.” said Bob Blomquist, Chief Executive Officer at Summit Biolabs. “This collaboration broadens and strengthens Summit Biolabs’ ability to bring to market life-changing saliva liquid-biopsy tests that ultimately enable better treatment and improved outcomes for patients.”

About Summit Biolabs

Summit Biolabs is harnessing the power of saliva-based diagnostics to address critical challenges in COVID-19 and head & neck cancer testing. Founded on the discoveries of Dr. Shi-Long Lu, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Summit Biolabs is being spun out from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Summit Biolabs is pioneering early detection of head & neck cancer recurrence using a first of its kind saliva liquid-biopsy test, HNKlear. HNKlear is a proprietary, non-invasive saliva test that provides more effective, more accurate, and earlier detection of head and neck cancer recurrence than traditional diagnostic methods. Summit Biolabs is leveraging its core competencies in saliva-based molecular diagnostics and viral nucleic acid testing (i.e., oral oncogenic human papillomavirus detection) to diagnose COVID-19. Along with our clinical and laboratory partners, Summit Biolabs is developing the first comprehensive panel of highly-accurate saliva-based tests for COVID-19 infection, quantitation, and immune response. Summit Biolabs is headquartered in Aurora, Colorado.


102-Year-Old Woman In Summit Succumbs To Coronavirus

SUMMIT, NJ — A woman who would have been born around the time of the 1918 flu pandemic has died of coronavirus.

The Westfield Regional Health Department reported the death on Tuesday of the 102-year-old Summit resident.

“The deceased individual is a white, non-Hispanic female who was hospitalized with pre-existing health conditions” before catching the virus, the city noted. They did not provide more information.

She’s the 18th fatality among Summit residents, and the first since June.

In total, 263 residents of Summit have tested positive since the pandemic began.

A month ago, the first week in September, the case count in Summit was 235. A month before that it was 228.

As of Tuesday, 209,342 cases of the virus had been recorded in New Jersey, with 14,360 deaths. The number of deaths in Union County was 1,193, out of 17,944 testing positive since the beginning of the pandemic.

To see Summit’s statistics a month ago, click here.

Here are some other recent Summit area coronavirus updates:


  • Union County has added mobile walk-up test sites in addition to the drive-through testing site located at Kean University. Testing is free for Union County residents and is by appointment only with no car required; participants must wear masks and observe social distance. Any Union County resident can make an appointment for a test, whether they have symptoms. To pick a location, date and time, and to make an appointment online, visit

  • Union County residents who need to make an appointment by phone can call 908-518-4307 for assistance. Non-profit organizations and other community groups can call the Union County Office of Emergency Management at 908-654-9881 to request a visit from the Mobile Test Unit.



  • During the State of Emergency in New Jersey, no tenant is permitted to be evicted from their home or apartment for the inability to pay rent. Talk to your local mayor’s office if you are experiencing difficulties.

  • The CARES act has made money available to help with rent in each city. More information is here.

  • New Jersey residents can get help with heating and energy bills. Information is here.

  • Various other avenues of relief and benefits have also been made available, including family leave for 12 weeks if you can’t work due to your child’s school or camp being closed, and changes to unemployment rules to help those who were at a job for a short time, or freelancing.


  • Recently, 159 long term care facilities were struggling with active outbreaks, the state Department of Health said two weeks ago. The state also announced that deaths at the facilities had more than doubled since May 1. The state drew criticism as it had stopped updating numbers at some nursing homes.

  • New Jersey residents have become alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities.

  • The state released death toll statistics for

Fourth Bioelectronic Medicine Summit Showcases Broad Innovation


Some of the most influential international experts, researchers, and scientific minds participated in the Fourth Bioelectronic Medicine Summit: Technology Targeting Molecular Mechanisms, hosted by The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research – the global scientific home of bioelectronic medicine – on September 23 and 24.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Drs. Kevin Tracey, Valentin Pavlov, Sangeeta Chavan welcome participants to the 2020 Bioelectronic Medicine Summit (Credit: Feinstein Institutes)

Bioelectronic medicine combines molecular medicine, neuroscience, and biomedical engineering to develop innovative therapies to treat a variety of diseases and conditions through targeted stimulation of nerves, including paralysis, arthritis, pulmonary hypertension, and inflammatory bowel disease. Due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), this year’s summit was held virtually and drew nearly 200 attendees, including esteemed academic leaders, members of the media, and industry professionals.

“Even though our recent focus has been on discovering a COVID-19 treatment, we continue to research, invest and lead in bioelectronic medicine,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. “It was an honor to bring together some of the most influential experts to explore, define, and propel this exciting field of science even further.”

Key highlights from the symposium include:

  • Gene Civillico, PhD, National Institutes of Health, discussed SPARC and the need to openly share data amongst the science community to promote innovation;
  • Chris Puleo, PhD, General Electric, described a non-invasive method of using ultrasound to modify neuromodulation;
  • David Chernoff, MD, SetPoint Medical, explained how research is going from the bench to the bedside in cutting-edge clinical trials to treat autoimmune diseases;
  • Kip Ludwig, PhD, University of Wisconsin, reviewed the steps needed to translate bioelectronic medicine to be used more effectively in humans;
  • Lawrence Steinman, MD, Stanford Medicine, delivered the keynote address discussing amyloid proteins and the neuroimmune regulatory pathway.

“It is exciting to hear, and see first-hand from the people leading progress in bioelectronic medicine,” said Valentin Pavlov, PhD, professor in the Feinstein Institutes’ Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine and co-chair of the summit. “It is important that collectively, researchers from around the globe continue to share their knowledge and help evolve this flourishing and promising field of science.”

Breakthroughs in engineering such as miniature electrodes, flexible sensors, methods of controlling and observing vagus nerve stimulation were among the presentation topics. In addition to video presentations, exhibitions, Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities, more than 23 research poster abstracts were displayed – giving attendees a glimpse into what’s on the horizon for bioelectronic medicine.

“We are at the forefront of a medical and technological revolution,” said Sangeeta Chavan, PhD, professor in the Feinstein Institutes’ Institute of Bioelectronic Medicine and co-chair of the summit. “These lectures, presentations and open-dialogue conversations strengthen our view that bioelectronic medicine will treat the world’s most complex disorders, potentially even better than pharmacologics.”

About the Feinstein Institutes

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer in New