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OvaGene Licenses miRNA Technology from Moffitt for Drug Response Assays

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – OvaGene Oncology has completed a licensing and collaboration agreement with the Moffitt Cancer Center to develop and commercialize proprietary microRNA assays to predict drug response for currently used cancer drugs, the Irvine, Calif.-based molecular diagnostics firm announced on Monday.

OvaGene is licensing technology from Moffitt, including miRNA-based biomarkers for predicting response to chemotherapy in a variety of tumor types. The assays were developed and validated at Moffitt under the guidance of Johnathan Lancaster. Moffitt is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center located in Tampa, Fla.

OvaGene will first develop a specific miRNA-based profile to predict drug response in advanced ovarian cancer, followed by the development of assays for drug response in other gynecological cancers. It will also seek strategic partnerships to develop similar profiles in other tumor types, it said.

Development studies, CLIA laboratory validation, and commercialization is expected in about 18 to 24 months.

Financial details were not disclosed.

In a statement, Lancaster said that in order to improve patient outcomes "it is essential that we develop tools to support biologically informed clinical decision making," and the deal announced with OvaGene "will enable us to accelerate our microRNA laboratory findings towards the clinic as personalized medicine tools that may benefit patients in the near term."

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