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CPRIT gives $81 million to cancer research

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has given an excess in funding of $81 million to support cancer research and commercialization projects in Texas.

Funding includes $20 million for a Houston-area pre-commercialization center to “incubate” promising oncology-focused technologies, as well as three CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research awards to attract top investigators in oncology research to Texas. Others include:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio initiatives aiming to improve safety and quality of life for cancer patients by testing targeted therapy approaches to treatment.
  • A Houston-based project examining methods to improve patient response to pain relief drugs, and another project to significantly reduce time for analyzing patient genomes by isolating gene sequencing to only the fraction of genes that, when mutated, contribute to the majority of cancer cases.
  • A College Station facility designed to enhance the state’s manufacturing capabilities for emerging cancer drug discoveries that are ready for clinical studies or commercial launch.
  • A Dallas program investigating the efficacy of a therapeutic agent that some cancer cells metabolize to produce hydrogen peroxide to “disinfect” and kill themselves.

In addition, Cell Medica, a cellular immunotherapies developer for oncologic applications, will relocate its headquarters from the U.K. to Texas, bringing with it jobs and plans to establish a manufacturing and distribution facility in the state.

“CPRIT is proud to fund groundbreaking research that will advance therapeutic and supportive care approaches to cancer treatment,” said Jimmy Mansour, founding chairman of CPRIT’s governing board. “We’re confident that our efforts to bring the best facilities and brightest minds in oncology to Texas will continue to reduce both the human and economic costs of this disease in our state and beyond.”

The 25 newly funded projects bring the total amount of grants by CPRIT since its inception in 2007 to more than $650 million.

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