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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and CvergenX, Inc. Sign Licensing Agreement


7/28/2010 10:56:21 AM

TAMPA, Fla., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Moffitt Cancer Center and CvergenX, Inc., announced today that they have entered into a licensing agreement under which CvergenX has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to a technology platform that individualizes radiation therapy, InterveneXRT. Researchers at Moffitt have used gene expression analysis and systems biology to create a radio-sensitivity classification index for individual tumors.

"While genomic analysis has been applied in the development of diagnostic tools to guide chemotherapy use, this is the first time that the field has expanded to radiation therapy," said Dr. Javier F. Torres-Roca, the radiation oncologist who co-founded CvergenX with Steven A. Eschrich, Ph.D., both Moffitt faculty members. "Radiation therapy has undergone vast changes with significant improvements in imaging and engineering that better direct the treatment, but this level of analysis will truly individualize each treatment, arming oncologists with answers as to when to radiate and how much to radiate information that has been unavailable until now."

Radiation therapy is prescribed for more than 60 percent of all cancer patients, more than any single chemotherapy agent.

"There has been an unmet need to develop biomarkers that predict response to radiation therapy," said Jarett Rieger, director of the Office of Technology Management and Commercialization at Moffitt. "The cutting-edge and innovative research by Drs. Torres-Roca and Eschrich has led to this incredible breakthrough in the field of personalized medicine. Our office is delighted that CvergenX, a Moffitt faculty startup based in Tampa Bay, will move this biomarker discovery from the laboratory to the clinic to improve patient care."

Based upon seven years of research and more than $2 million in research primarily funded through the National Cancer Institute, the testing platform is undergoing clinical studies for further validation and optimization of its methods. Under the license agreement, CvergenX has agreed to pay Moffitt when various commercialization milestones are reached, as well as royalty payments on the sales of testing services and licensed products.

"The license agreement is one of the key milestones established for the company in 2010," said Mary Del Brady, chairman and CEO of CvergenX. "With the intellectual property fully protected, we are poised to proceed with the commercialization of InterveneXRT, including studies across multiple disease sites and, later, the opening of an independent advanced diagnostics laboratory. We believe that the individualization of radiation therapy is an important component of personalized cancer treatment."

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center is an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - a designation that recognizes Moffitt's excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country's leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for cancer. Moffitt's sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

About CvergenX, Inc.

CvergenX is an early stage advanced diagnostic services company that was founded to provide personalized medicine tools for the field of radiation oncology. The Company's Intervene XRT testing platform applies genomic analysis to predict a tumor's response to radiation and to assist the oncologist in determining the optimal level of radiation dosing. CvergenX joins a growing group of personalized medicine companies that are applying genomics-basis analysis to clinical practice to enable a more personalized and accurate approach to patient care.

SOURCE Moffitt Cancer Center


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