GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES INITIATIVES TO INCREASE VIABILITY OF BIOMEDICAL DISCOVERIES
Funds Support Research Commercialization
Further solidifying Arizona as a leader in the bioscience industry, Governor Janet Napolitano today announced a cooperative agreement between two major bioscience entities, the Translational Genomics Research Institute Accelerators (TGenAccel) and Abraxis Bioscience to bring innovative, promising discoveries and therapies to market.
TGen and Abraxis Chairman and Founder Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., have entered into a letter of intent (LOI) to establish two initiatives to further biomedical development across Arizona, and extend TGen's Clinical Research Services nationally. The LOI, facilitated by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), calls for a total of $21.5 million to fund the initial phases of both programs.
"This is significant for Arizona; we have the infrastructure and bioscience capital in place to conduct clinical trials and bring to market important bioscientific work," said Governor Napolitano. "There are a multitude of discoveries occurring each day that these initiatives - the critical links necessary - will enable to become globally viable and accessible. I am pleased to commend TGen, Abraxis and our statewide partners in this effort."
Of the total $21.5 million, $14 million will be used to establish Catapult Bio - a new, nonprofit organization that will focus on bringing promising life sciences research with a focus on diagnostics, prognostics, therapeutics, devices and services to market. The remaining $7.5 million is earmarked toward launching a National Personalized Health Network (NPHN), a new platform to increase evidence-based personalized medicine clinical trials. The NPHN will operate from Greater Phoenix and initially establish eight Individualized Therapy Centers throughout the country to determine the effectiveness of this type of treatment.
"Our agreement represents an important partnership that will transform and advance worldwide health care," Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman and CEO of Abraxis Bioscience, said. "It is my hope that Catapult Bio and the National Personalized Health Network will play a critical role in helping to accelerate and extend my vision for personalized medicine throughout the world."
The creation of Catapult Bio addresses a gap highlighted in the recently released 2007 Battelle report, Arizona's Bioscience Roadmap: Toward 2012, which indicated Arizona's need to establish an entity with the expertise to further develop and commercialize the increasing number of research discoveries emerging from Arizona-based life sciences research efforts.
Additionally, Catapult Bio helps fulfill significant funding shortfalls in shepherding late stage research discoveries into development and commercialization.
"Catapult Bio will focus on creating exciting new programs that bridge the expertise and funding gaps, and provide the necessary support to efficiently enhance, accelerate and develop technology into commercially available products and services," MaryAnn Guerra, president of TGen Accelerators, said. "Our National Personalized Health Network will leverage TGen's clinical expertise and allow increased patient access to important information relating to their treatment, additional clinical care services and an expanded clinical trial network focused on personalized medicine."
"This pioneering effort to create Catapult Bio and the National Personalized Health Network in Greater Phoenix is the result of an emerging technology practice driving next-generation economic development," Barry Broome, president and CEO of GPEC, said. "Dr. Soon-Shiong is a philanthropist and a visionary leader whose incredible investment will literally change the health of individuals around the world for the better."