Potential Cancer Tool Rights Licensed to Biotech Company
February 3, 2012 – Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) has licensed worldwide rights of a potential novel cancer “theranostic,” created by university researchers, to a biotechnology company based in Maryland.
GUMC’s license agreement with BioMetrx LLC is expected to expedite the progression of a potential therapy and diagnostic tool called Rasstore™ from the laboratory to the clinical setting for further investigation.
Rasstore™ is named for the novel way it could potentially restore the body’s natural ability to suppress tumor cells, utilizing the tumor suppressor gene RASSF1A.
Dr. Milton Brown, director of GUMC’s Drug Discovery Program, and Partha Banerjee, a GUMC associate professor and world-recognized expert on RASSF1A and tumor suppression, invented the agent.
“It’s rewarding for Partha and me to see an agent progress from concept to where we are today – on the verge of completing pre-clinical … studies for a new agent which we believe has applications in prostate cancer and possibly other cancers as well,” said Brown, also the Edwin H. Richard and Elisabeth Richard von Matsch Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics.
Brown is also an associate professor at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Rasstore™ exemplifies the high-quality, early-stage technologies emerging from Georgetown's robust drug discovery program,” says Claudia Stewart, vice president of technology commercialization at Georgetown.
BioMetrx has begun raising the capital required to support clinical investigation, Stewart notes.
“We believe Rasstore™ will be very attractive to other pharmaceutical companies,” says John Wells, BioMetrx’s executive vice president for global operations. “This agent has the potential to enhance existing therapeutics because of its potential to restore the body's natural tumor suppression capability.”
Georgetown established its Office of Technology Commercialization, which oversees such agreements, in 2002 to advance the university’s commitment to protect its intellectual property and the interests of Georgetown researchers. The office also engages the university in the economic development of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.