Research to Clinic
Founded in 2002, TGEN focuses on cancer, neurological disorders, and diabetes.
It has spun out three companies to move research rapidly into the clinic: the Center for Translational Drug Development (TD2) provides consultations for the initiation of clinical trials and services to evaluate the safety and efficacy of preclinical compounds using animal models and genomic analyses; the for-profit Molecular Profiling Institute (MPI) develops personalized medicine tests for cancer; and Nanobiomics, which is developing genomics-based tests.
MPI's first molecular profile program, TargetNow, is available for cancer patients for whom all standard therapies have failed to identify at least one good drug target. The goal is to find therapeutic options that have not been considered. "We are also in the process of establishing relationships to test patients at the beginning of treatment," Richard Love, TGEN's COO, remarked.
In January, MPI introduced MammaPrint in the U.S., a 70-gene microarray gene profiling assay that provides prognostic information for women with primary invasive breast cancer, age 55 and younger, with lymph node-negative disease and with either positive or negative estrogen-receptor status, said president and CEO Robert Penny, M.D., Ph.D.
Developed by Agendia (Amsterdam) with the Netherlands Cancer Institute, MammaPrint outperformed all currently used standard diagnostic criteria in predicting future development of distant metastases and overall survival, according to a large study announced in December at the "San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference".
"MammaPrint is also useful for patients considered to be at low risk for metastatic disease by the classical diagnostic tests, and for those where conventional diagnostic tests produce ambiguous results," said Rene Bernards, Agendia's CSO.
Results of the test enable physicians to more precisely tailor treatment to patients. Large-scale prospective trials of the test are being conducted in 10,000 patients by the Netherlands Cancer Institute, which helped develop the test.