Public Release: 

Georgetown University Medical Center licenses 'theranostic' for development

Georgetown University Medical Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) has licensed worldwide rights of a potential novel cancer therapy and diagnostic, or "theranostic," to BioMetrx, LLC. The agent was invented by two Georgetown researchers.

GUMC's license agreement with BioMetrx, LLC, a Maryland-headquartered biotechnology company, expedites the translation of the agent, Rasstore™, from the laboratory to the clinical setting for further investigation as a potential new therapy.

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. The agent was invented by Milton Brown, M.D., Ph.D., director of GUMC's Drug Discovery Program, and Partha Banerjee, Ph.D., a world recognized expert on RASSF1A and tumor suppression, also at GUMC.

"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 IND enabling studies for a new agent which we believe has applications in prostate cancer and possibly other cancers as well," said Brown, who holds the Edwin H. Richard and Elisabeth Richard von Matsch Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics and is 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. "Our commercial relationship with BioMetrx represents the process in universities that harnesses the enthusiasm of seasoned entrepreneurs who form a company around the technology, raise funds and then leverage the technical expertise of the inventors to advance the technology...the start up process."

BioMetrx has begun raising the capital required to support clinical investigation.

"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."

###

About Georgetown University Office of Technology Commercialization

The Georgetown University Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) was established in 2002 to advance the University's commitment to protecting its intellectual property and the interests of Georgetown researchers and to strongly engage Georgetown in the economic development of the Washington, DC/Maryland/Virginia area. http://otc.georgetown.edu.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC's mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical Translation and Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. In fiscal year 2010-11, GUMC accounted for 85 percent of the university's sponsored research funding.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.