Agreement strengthens relationship and spawns new scientific collaborations

PHOENIX - February 27, 2008 - Leaders from both Mayo Clinic's NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) met today to formalize a strategic alignment that is expected to result in further collaborations in cancer research.

Specifically, a number of TGen researchers will become members in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. Their membership will facilitate and enhance collaboration among the faculty of both organizations on cancer research initiatives. Such collaboration will allow for greater access to resources and expertise in areas of mutual scientific interest.

(L-R) TGen's President and Scientific Director Dr. Jeffrey Trent, Dr. Robert Diasio, Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, TGen's Physician-in-Chief Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and Dr. Rafeal Fonseca, Deputy Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and a physician in Mayo Clinic's Division of Hematology/Oncology in Arizona, met to formalize a strategic alignment that is expected to result in further collaborations in cancer research.

The alliance builds on a 2003 agreement between Mayo and TGen designed to broaden the scope of joint research endeavors between the two organizations. The close proximity of the Mayo campus to TGen is beneficial for continued collaboration, given that TGen's Pharmaceutical Sciences Division is located on the Scottsdale campus of Mayo Clinic.

To date, the collaboration between TGen and Mayo has already resulted in submission of dozens of joint grant applications involving several diseases, with a success rate of nearly 30 percent. With this new strategic alignment, the volume of joint cancer research grant applications will definitely increase, according to Robert Diasio, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

"TGen takes seriously our commitment to work toward helping patients with cancer and other disorders. This announcement is another mechanism allowing TGen and Mayo faculty to work bi-directionally in a more seamless fashion," said Jeffrey Trent, Ph.D., TGen's president and scientific director.

"Patients will benefit from this strategic partnership because Mayo Clinic and TGen have closely aligned goals, complementary skills and consequent synergy," said Rafael Fonseca, M.D., Deputy Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and a physician in Mayo Clinic's Division of Hematology/Oncology in Arizona.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is a National Cancer Center (NCI) -designated facility. NCI designation means that a cancer center has a strong research component and a wide spectrum of prevention, care and educational activities that serve broad communities. The Cancer Center is unique in that its designation is national in scope, including cancer center activities at all three Mayo Clinic locations - Arizona, Jacksonville, Fla. and Rochester, Minn.

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About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is one of only 39 U.S. medical centers that have been named as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center. To receive this designation, an institution must meet rigorous standards demonstrating scientific excellence and the ability to integrate diverse research approaches to address the problem of cancer. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is the only national, multi-site center with the NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Center designation. In Arizona, Mayo's clinical and research experts work together to address the complex needs of cancer patients, with a dedication to understanding the biology of cancer; discovering new ways to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and transforming the quality of life for cancer patients today and in the future.

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen's vision is of a world where an understanding of genomic variation can be rapidly translated in a manner tailored to individual patients.

Media Contacts:
Amy Erickson, TGen: (602) 343-8522
Jenny Ho, Mayo Clinic: (480) 301-4368

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