Moffitt Cancer Center's new research initiative and collaboration with Merck & Co.
M2Gen is the result of a research collaboration formed in December 2006 between H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and drug maker Merck & Co. The M2Gen facility will be built on North Malcolm McKinley Drive, just north of East Bougainvillea Avenue, in Tampa. Construction began in January 2008 and was completed in April 2009.
The for-profit company will develop personalized cancer treatments for patients using molecular technology. Researchers will collect tumor tissues from thousands of patients across Florida and other states and identify the biological markers unique to each tumor. Analyzing patients’ responses to specific treatments will lead to more individualized care aimed at providing rapid improvement with fewer side effects. M2Gen is expected to advance the practice of personalized medicine by taking Moffitt's wide-ranging initiative, Total Cancer CareTM, to a new level.
Since it was approved as a protocol in 2006, Total Cancer Care personalized medicine research has enrolled more than 60,000 patients who have consented to donate tissue samples. The patients have been enrolled across 16 cancer treatment sites around the United States.
Patients, community providers, industry, government and many others will be involved in improving cancer care through M2Gen. Funding incentives for M2Gen came from several sources, including Hillsborough County ($20 million plus 25 acres of land); the state of Florida ($15 million); and the city of Tampa ($800,000 plus 5 acres of land). M2Gen is expected to attract new lucrative jobs to the state and bolster the Tampa Bay area’s robust biotechnology industry. The new jobs will be primarily scientific, professional and information technology.
“With the support of the state and the community, Moffitt has grown to be one of the largest and most dynamic cancer centers with a plan to advance scientific and medical discoveries,” Dr. William Dalton, Moffitt's President and CEO and M2Gen's Founder and Chair, said when the collaboration was announced. “We are pleased that industry partners like Merck recognize our research contribution and are investing with us to help develop personalized medicine.”
“Moffitt will be a valuable partner as we move forward in our efforts to develop and deliver personalized cancer care,” said Dr. Stephen Friend, executive vice president and franchise head, Oncology and Neuroscience, at Merck. “It is through public-private partnerships like this one that we believe we can advance the discovery, translation and delivery of much-needed personalized therapies for cancer and other diseases.”
For more information about M2Gen, please call 813-384-5023.
Nearly 200 people attended the groundbreaking on November 14, 2007, for M2Gen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Moffitt Cancer Center. Moffitt President/CEO and Center Director, Dr. William Dalton, and M2Gen Executive Vice President and Founding Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Timothy Yeatman, kicked off the ceremony. The groundbreaking also featured Ken Hagan, chairman of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners; Pat Bean, Hillsborough County administrator; Moffitt board members Don Buchanan and Stephen Meyers; and Moffitt patient advisor Ron Giovannelli.
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