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Dec 6, 2011

OvaGene Licenses Moffitt’s miRNA Markers for Cancer Assays

  • OvaGene Oncology inked a license and collaboration agreement with the Moffitt Cancer Center, through which OvaGene gains exclusive worldwide rights to use the Moffitt Center's microRNA biomarker IP in the development and commercialization of microRNA-based assays for predicting the response of gynecological cancers to anticancer drugs.

    The licensed technology includes miRNA-based biomarkers that can be used to predict response to chemotherapy in a range of tumor types. OvaGene will initially focus on developing a miRNA-based profile that can predict drug response in advanced ovarian cancer. Additional assays for drug response in different gynecologic cancers will subsequently developed, and the firm also aims to forge partnerships to develop microRNA profiles for other tumor types.

    “The microRNA panel will provide gynecologic oncologists with a useful tool to help decide between a variety of chemotherapeutic options based on epigenetic information obtained from the patient’s tumor,” comments Neil Finkler, M.D., OvaGene CMO. “With an excellent partner in the Moffitt Cancer Center, we can rapidly validate the assays and begin helping patients quickly.”

    OvaGene is focused on developing gene-based assays to aid in the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy selection of gynecologic cancers. In September the firm received CLIA certification for its newly constructed molecular diagnostics laboratory. Just under a year ago the firm was awarded over $516,000 under the U.S. Government’s Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Projects QTDP program, to fund three research programs focused on accelerating the discovery and commercialization of molecular diagnostics for current and potentially future drugs. 

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