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TGen, IGC Receive $1.35M to Create Molecular Profiling Institute

This article has been updated from a previous version.

 

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (GenomeWeb News) - Two nonprofit labs, the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the International Genomics Consortium, have received $1.35 million in seed capital to build a for-profit joint reference laboratory, according to the new laboratory's CEO.

 

The lab, called the Molecular Profiling Institute, will become the sole United Statesprovider of a prognostic breast-cancer gene-expression microarray made by the Dutch firm Agendia, said MPI CEO Bob Penny and Agendia CEO Bernhard Sixt.

 

Seed capital for the laboratory was contributed by Scottsdale Healthcare, the Flinn Foundation, AmeriPath, and venture capital firm EA Management, said MPI CEO Bob Penny, who was chief medical officer at IGC. The "A" round of seed funding collection ended in late October, Penny said.

 

The array, called MammaPrint, will assess breast cancer recurrence risk, collecting expression data on 231 genes, 70 of which are used in prognosis projection, said Sixt. The assay is intended for use in patients younger than 55, who have tumors smaller than 5 centimeters, and are lymph-node negative. It will be available in January.

 

Penny estimated the number of lymph-node negative breast cancer patients as 70,000 per year in the United States.

 

Through a partnership with the diagnostic reference lab AmeriPath, the MPI will provide the company's pathologist network and its approximately 3.5 million patients with access to molecular profiling services, including the MammaPrint test. In return, AmeriPath will help the MPI with co-marketing and sales, said TGen.

 

The MPI will use Human Genome Project data to analyze patient cancers, according to a statement.

 

The VirginiaG.PiperCancerCenterin Scottsdale, Ariz.also collaborates in the MPI, the statement added.

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