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The St. Louis suburb's businesses face enormous challenges
Founders: Dr. Mark Chandler and Craig Benson (The company was formed in 1998 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Luminex Corp. (LMNX) and subsequently spun off in 2002 as a private management-owned entity.)
VC Investment over the last four quarters: $25 million
With 95 employees worldwide, Rules-Based Medicine, a biomarker testing company, is actively developing diagnostic tests to detect the presence of complex diseases and conditions in the areas of neuropsychiatry, nephrology, immunology, and cardiology. The company is also developing what it calls the first fully closed reproducible whole-blood culture system. Despite the recession, Rules-Based Medicine's founders remain optimistic about its prospects and those of its peers that promote efficiency and cost savings for drug development and diagnostics customers.
Key to startup success: "We took a customer-focused approach to biotechnology, which drove our decision to commit resources to developing much needed comprehensive biomarker content. ... Our customers have essentially directed and funded our R&D since inception."