New TGen spin-off announces first big contract
TGen's maiden for-profit spin-off company, the Molecular Profiling Institute, just unveiled its first contract, a genome-based tumor analysis test for early invasive breast cancer called Mammaprint.
The Translational Genomics Research Institute just announced an initial deal for its first for-profit spin-off company, the Molecular Profiling Institute.
TGen announced that Agendia, a research company based in Amsterdam, has contracted with MPI to offer a tumor analysis test for patients with early invasive breast cancer called Mammaprint.
According to the Arizona Republic, the tests will be available in January to breast cancer patients nationwide, and as many as 70,000 women could be eligible for them. The Mammaprint test will analyze what genes are expressed in an individual's tumor, allowing oncologists better tools to recommend custom therapy options to each patient.
Richard Love, the chief operating officer of TGen, told the Republic that MPI is working to get insurance companies to cover the tests, which will cost about $3,200 each.
MPI, geared to act as a national reference laboratory for oncologists, will offer such cancer analysis services to individual patients using genetic information gleaned from the Human Genome Project. Another example of MPI's work is Target Now, a custom cancer analysis test that looks at the molecular make-up of stubborn cancers in individuals who have not had success with traditional oncological therapies.
"These are what we term esoteric tests, ones are not traditionally done in hospitals, but are being introduced and are becoming important to get out to patient care," said Robert Penny, chief executive officer and president of MPI.
One of the major seed investors in MPI is a pathology lab called Ameripath, which has more than 400 physicians and serves 3.5 million patients nationwide. This alliance will allow MPI access to "a broad range of testing and information services used by physicians when detecting diagnosing, evaluating and treating cancer," according to the Business Journal.
The other major investors in the first $1.35 million round of seed funding were Scottsdale Healthcare, the Flinn Foundation, and EA Management, a San Diego-based investment group.
For more information:
"TGen, IGC form for-profit company," Business Journal, 12/08/2004
"Scottsdale institute takes aim at cancer," East Valley Tribune, 12/09/2004
"TGen firm to target cancer," Arizona Republic, 12/09/2004