Move enhances multidisciplinary environment, accelerates research

Phoenix, AZ, June 30, 2005 -- The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) today announced the transition of its Cancer Drug Discovery Laboratory (CDDL) from their Gaithersburg, MD, facility to the new Mayo Clinic Collaborative Research Building on the Scottsdale campus of the Mayo Clinic. The CDDL was established as TGen's drug discovery and development arm.

Co-locating CDDL and TGen's Drug Development (TD2) Services Unit with researchers at the Mayo Clinic is a key component of TGen's patient-centered research approach. The combination of world-class researchers and the latest technologies creates a highly collaborative multidisciplinary research environment, ensuring that innovative preclinical research products will be moved from the lab to the patient as quickly as possible. This will hopefully ultimately improve and extend the lives of patients living with cancer.

"The TGen-Mayo Clinic collaboration signifies a milestone, both in terms of Arizona's leadership in bringing the best that biomedicine has to offer to patients nationally and internationally and the potential that research results between these two institutions will have toward defeating cancer," said Sen. John McCain.

CDDL investigators are a multi-disciplinary team of scientists with expertise ranging from cell biology to bioinformatics. The lab uses a powerful cutting-edge technology called RNA interference (RNAi) technology to accelerate their research. The area of RNAi opens up a new field for drug discovery and will allow researchers to develop specific and potent drugs. RNAi technology centers on understanding how genes are turned on and off in cells and what the effect is on those cells.

"The CDDL team has assembled some of the most sophisticated and high-throughput technology in the world for studying cancer cells," said Dr. Spyro Mousses, Director of CDDL. "Our RNAi technology should greatly accelerate the discovery of new anti-cancer compounds."

The move to the Mayo Clinic Collaborative Research Building will nearly triple CDDL's current capacity. The new building, which officially opens its doors today, is an 110,000-square-foot facility specifically devoted to developing and supporting medical research that will help patients in Arizona and beyond.

"The CDDL's proximity to our researchers and clinicians accelerates our joint pursuit of identifying strategies to defeat all forms of cancer and further strengthens the Mayo Clinic mission of integrating research and educational efforts with clinical medicine to provide the best care for our patients," said Victor F. Trastek, MD, Chair, Board of Governors at Mayo Clinic.

Mousses and his team are settling into the lab over the next few months and will be completely moved in by early next year.

"CDDL's move to Arizona strengthens TGen's attack on cancer. The addition of these researchers not only bolsters the translational arm of TGen's discovery work, but proves that good science is happening right here in Arizona, and with it comes the hope of finding new ways to stop cancer in its tracks," said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen's President and Scientific Director.

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About TGen
The mission of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen is focused on personalized medicine and plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research programs and its state-of-the-art bioinformatics and computational biology facilities.

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