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Massachusetts Injects $8M into Joint UMass Boston, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has provided $8 million in funding to support continued development of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy, a joint initiative between the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), MSLC said today.

The MLSC, a 10-year, $1 billion state-funded program to support life sciences research, development, and commercialization in Massachusetts, provided $2 million to launch the CPCT in 2011. The center's goal is to spur and support collaborative and translational research focused on cancer diagnosis and prognosis, individualized treatments, and response to therapy.

The center currently is located in UMass Boston's Venture Development Center, but it is moving into a permanent home at the university's Integrated Science Complex this coming fall.

The center plans to use the funding to complete its biomarker facility and a vivarium. The investment also will support a research project seeking to develop, validate, and implement biomarker-based assays that distinguish cancer subtypes and can be used to predict patient responses to treatment.

The center opened its wet lab last March, formed the UMB Cancer Research Network in May, and initiated building of its biomarker facility last October.

The CPCT also has undertaken collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies so that it may develop and commercialize the clinical tests it is developing.

MLSC said its funding will supplement $18 million in federal grant funding that has already been committed to the center.

Edward Benz, director of the DF/HCC said the grant also will support the center's efforts to "improve research and training opportunities for our students and staff members from diverse backgrounds."