Monday, February 23, 2009

Barrow Neurological Institute and Phoenix Children’s Hospital Brain Cancer Research

Arizona high school students hope March 7 walk-a-thon will help them top $1 million mark in funding for brain cancer research at TGen, Barrow Neurological Institute and Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Arizona Internet Marketing

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Feb. 23, 2009 - Student organizers of the Valley’s 8th annual walk-a-thon by Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research hope this year to top the $1 million mark in total donations collected since starting in 2002.
The 3-hour variable-length walk - up to 5 miles around the track at Pinnacle High School, 3535 E. Mayo Blvd. - starts at noon on Saturday, March 7, accompanied by the music of five live bands, inflatable bouncy castles, a variety of food and free massages.

"This year, our goal is to surpass the $1 million mark that represents our total earnings since 2002. It would be great to raise at least $250,000 this year, which would be an increase from last year," said Christie Shely, a student at Horizon High School and the SSBTR Co-Chair for 2009.

Student organizers also hope to attract as many as 4,500 participants, including students representing more than 100 Arizona schools, Shely said. The walk will include a silent auction, featuring more than 100 items.

In addition, the group is sponsoring its first walk-a-thon in Tucson, from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28, on the mall at the University of Arizona. The walks support brain cancer research at Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children's Hospital and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). More than 95 percent of the money raised goes directly to research, awareness and treatment. The student organization’s expenses, including postage, printing and promotion, do not exceed 5 percent.

Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) was founded in 2002 after three Paradise Valley School District students died from brain tumors. After leukemia, brain tumors are the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths among teenagers.

*

If you go

When: Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, March 7.

Where: Pinnacle High School, 3535 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, northwest of Loop 101 and Tatum Boulevard.

2009 Beneficiaries: The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the National Brain Tumor Society, Barrow Neurological Institute, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Registration: Please visit www.ssbtr.org/index.php?action=walkathon. The tax-deductible walk registration fee is $10.

# # #

About SSBTR

Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) is a Scottsdale-based, student-run organization. Last year, student representatives from more than 100 Arizona schools participated in the walk-a-thon, which was attended by more than 4,000 people and raised $228,000 for brain tumor research. For more information, visit www.ssbtr.org or call 1-888-SSBTR-AZ (772-8729).

About TGen

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 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. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.



Arizona Biotechnology Marketing
Biotechnology News

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Building Biotech - The Science of Doing International Business

Jeff Morhet, Chairman and CEO of InNexus Biotechnology is speaking on "Building Biotech: The Science of Doing International Business" at AZIGG on March 2nd, 7:30am at Jobing.com headquarters in Phoenix. Please RSVP here: www.azigg.com.
InNexus (Toronto Stock Exchange IXS.V) is headquartered in British Columbia with principal management based in Scottsdale at the campus of Mayo Clinic. InNexus has its own in-house drug developmental facilities that validate protein and peptide discoveries, enabling InNexus and its strategic partners to advance novel drug therapeutics and diagnostics. www.ixsbio.com.

AZIGG Presents:
Jeff Morhet, Chairman, CEO and President
InNexus Biotechnology, Inc.
"Building Biotech: The Science of Doing International Business"
Monday, March 2nd, 7:30am - 9:00am

Location: Headquarters of Jobing.com, 4747 N 22nd Street

(South of Camelback on the east side of 22nd, free parking)
Investment $10 includes coffee, water and juice
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Jeff Morhet
Jeff Morhet will be sharing international insights from his vast global experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. He has launched multiple companies and is highly experienced in the areas of investor relations and corporated finance, participating in raising over $100 million in public offerings, venture capital, equities and mergers. Jeff has also founded the life science organizations THIRDBIOTECH and ThirdBioTech Research Group. Please RSVP: www.azigg.com

Arizona Internet Marketing
Arizona Biotechnology Marketing
Biotechnology News

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

POSTER SESSION at BIOZONA 2009!

Biotechnology News

POSTER SESSION at BIOZONA 2009!

BIOZONA 2009 will feature poster presentations describing cutting-edge corporate and academic research programs. The Poster Session is a great way to highlight your organization's successes including; case studies or summaries, scientific achievements or milestones, innovative programs of operation, or other findings. Posters should be directly related to research projects, and may not be advertisements for products or services (for this, please see information on the BIOZONA 2009 exhibit hall).


Deadlines:
Notices of Intent by March 10th - Proposal Summary Applications by March 15th

Cost: Nothing to apply!
If your company is chosen to present, the presentation fee of $100 will be added to your registration.

For more details, and to apply click here.

If you know of a company/organization that would benefit from participating in the Poster Session at BIOZONA 2009, please pass this email along and encourage them to apply.


Arizona Internet Marketing
Arizona Biotechnology Marketing

Dr. Joshua LaBaer to head Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics

Arizona Internet Marketing

The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University taps Harvard scientist Dr. Joshua LaBaer to head Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics

Joshua LaBaer portrait

Joshua LaBaer

In a significant boost for an Arizona-based personalized medicine initiative, the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust are pleased to announce Joshua LaBaer, M.D., Ph.D., as director of the new Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Dr. LaBaer most recently served as director of the Harvard Institute of Proteomics.

Funded by a multimillion gift from Piper Trust, the Center for Personalized Diagnostics will pursue earlier, more accurate diagnosis of diseases including lung cancer and diabetes. It will leverage the latest capabilities in personalized medicine, an emerging field with potential to improve patient treatments and outcomes by factoring in an individual’s unique genetic and metabolic profile.

The Center occupies 8,000 sq. ft. within the Biodesign Institute. In addition to the recruitment of LaBaer, the Piper Trust's philanthropic investment supports development of the research team and laboratory infrastructure such as a state-of-the-art robotic system for gene cloning.

“Dr. LaBaer is one of a handful of innovators who could be labeled trailblazers in the relatively new field of proteomics, which is a crucial technology for profiling the molecular changes in disease and a key for more personalized approaches to medicine,” said Dr. George Poste, director of the Biodesign Institute and chief scientist for ASU’s Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative. “The generosity of the Piper Trust enabled us to recruit a true leader in the field and provide his team with the sophisticated laboratory needed to do this type of research. I am confident Dr. LaBaer and his team will help place Arizona at the forefront of personalized medicine research,” said Poste.

“In the future, we will look back at our current list of illnesses as a gross oversimplification,” said LaBaer. “Already, in our modern era of molecular medicine, we are learning that what we have thought about as single diseases like inflammatory bowel disease or breast cancer actually include many different molecular variations, each with a different root cause, a different prognosis and a response to specific therapies. Our lab hopes to help develop new diagnostic tools that pinpoint the specific molecular disease for each patient and directs physicians to the right therapeutic strategy for that individual.”

With this appointment, LaBaer also becomes ASU’s first Virginia G. Piper Chair of Personalized Medicine. The Partnership is a broad effort launched in 2007 by the Piper Trust and Flinn Foundation to take advantage of Arizona’s emerging strengths in the area of personalized medicine.

“The promise of personalized medicine is twofold: to increase patient outcomes and to reduce healthcare costs,” said Dr. Judy Mohraz, President and CEO of Piper Trust. “The Piper trustees have made $35 million in investments in this area of research because we believe it is the future of medicine, and that Arizona is uniquely positioned to become a leader in this arena. Dr. LaBaer’s appointment is a major boost to this effort.”

“We are especially excited to be doing this in Arizona where there is a strong collaborative atmosphere and a palpable excitement about this new direction for medicine,” said LaBaer. “Arizona’s interest in new technological approaches and the willingness of its various clinical stakeholders to come together to build a statewide biorepository are just what we need to be successful.”

LaBaer’s team will play a major role in biomarker discovery and validation for lung cancer and diabetes in collaboration with the larger Partnership for Personalized Medicine, which also includes TGen in Phoenix and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle.

LaBaer created the Institute of Proteomics as a research program within the Harvard Medical School to promote collaborative research and discoveries. Using new high-throughput technologies, his team advanced the discipline of functional proteomics, which seeks to understand the roles of all the proteins made in the human body. They also developed new technologies to discover new disease targets, including the identification of blood-borne markers to discover the molecular signatures of the autoimmune cause of Type I diabetes as well as identification of cancer markers.

An underpinning of this work has been the creation of vast repositories of protein expression-ready clones for genes in human and other commonly studied organisms that are maintained in a rapid-access storage facility and usable in the widest possible range of experimental protocols. More than 100,000 clones have been sent to laboratories worldwide.

The Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at ASU will be the focal part of biomarker discovery and validation in a high throughput and high quality control manner. Effective biomarkers have the potential to improve health care and reduce costs by detecting diseases at an earlier stage when they are more easily managed and by more effectively managing patients to handle disease. Currently, one out of every seven U.S. dollars is spent on health care, and 75 percent of health care costs are for treating five chronic diseases (diabetes, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, asthma and depression).

LaBaer was educated at Washington High School in Phoenix, attended the University of California at Berkeley as an undergraduate Regents Scholar and completed medical school and graduate school at the University of California, San Francisco, where he studied steroid regulation of DNA transcription and protein-DNA interactions.

LaBaer completed his internship and residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a clinical fellowship in Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both in Boston. He is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology and was an Instructor and Clinical Fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. LaBaer has contributed more than 60 original research publications, reviews and chapters.LaBaer is an associate editor of the Journal of Proteome Research, Analytical Biochemistry, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards for the Proteome Society, Promega Corporation, Lumera-Plexera Corportation, Barnett Institute, and a founding member of the Human Proteome Organization.

This announcement demonstrates the benefit that a research university like ASU provides to the State of Arizona. Each year, Arizona's universities pump almost $1 billion into the state's economy through research projects, which are funded by the U.S. government and other organizations like the Piper Charitable Trust. Research funds are legally restricted and may not be used for instructional purposes.

Arizona Biotechnology Marketing
Biotechnology News

High Tea Raises High Hopes For Tgen Ovarian Cancer Research

High tea raises high hopes for TGen ovarian cancer research

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Feb. 16, 2009 - The Anne Rita Monahan Foundation will host Tea for Teal, a high English afternoon tea, to fund ovarian cancer research by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The Tea for Teal is at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, 340 N. Third St., part of the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation's efforts to raise $100,000 for ovarian cancer research.

Just as pink is the color representing the fight against breast cancer, teal is the color that represents the fight against ovarian cancer.

Funds will be used to research early-stage, drug-resistant ovarian cancer. TGen scientists are searching for a reliable early-screening tool and better drug treatments.

The Anne Rita Monahan Foundation was established by Anne Rita Monahan of Phoenix, a heroic ovarian cancer fighter, in an effort to warn other women about the disease, which she continues to fight daily.

Because the disease is often difficult to detect in its early stages, the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation is focused on education about the early signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. The Foundation also funds research into the discovery of an effective, reliable screening tool that would help detect this type of cancer as soon as possible, giving women the best opportunities for remission.

The Anne Rita Monahan (ARM) Foundation's effort to eradicate ovarian cancer includes outreach and educational programs for the public and for the medical community. The Foundation urges women to "ARM Yourself Against Ovarian Cancer."

Anne Rita Monahan Foundation Tea for Teal

For more information or to register:

www.anneritamonahan.org or 602-264-5539.

Participation fees:

Individual tickets are $60; a table of 10 is $500.

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the performance of groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on developing earlier diagnostics and smarter treatments for 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 to the diagnosis and treatment of disease in a manner tailored to individual patients.


Arizona Internet Marketing
Arizona Biotechnology Marketing
Biotechnology News

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Arizona's TGen joins with Michigan's Van Andel Research Institute

Arizona's TGen joins with Michigan's Van Andel Research Institute in alliance promoting worldwide science and health


Affiliation allows both research institutions to maximize potential


02-11-2009

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Feb. 11, 2009 – The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) will forge a strategic alliance that will enable both to maximize their worldwide contributions to science and health.

The non-profit researcher institutes jointly announced today the initiation of an "alliance and affiliation agreement."

The partnership between Phoenix, Ariz.-based TGen and Grand Rapids, Mich.-based VARI will enable both institutes to speed up their mutual goals of moving research discoveries about cancer and other debilitating medical conditions as quickly as possible from laboratories to patient care.

Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen and David Van Andel, VAI

"Combining many of the scientific, educational, financial and business potentials of TGen and VARI will advance the research of both institutions and enhance the economic development of both Arizona and Western Michigan," said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Scientific Director of TGen since its founding in 2002.

"This alliance will elevate both organizations in the world of scientific research," said Dr. Trent, who will retain his roles at TGen, but upon implementation of the agreement also will become President and Research Director of VARI.

VARI is the research arm of the Van Andel Institute (VAI), established in 1996 as a philanthropic research and educational organization by the late Jay and Betty Van Andel.

"We are excited to welcome Dr. Trent and TGen as they combine forces with us in our mission to conquer cancer and human disease," said VAI Chairman and CEO David Van Andel. "This alliance demonstrates that VARI and TGen are at the forefront of redefining a borderless, collaborative, national and international scientific community that transcends geographical limitations."

The alliance combines the groundbreaking basic research expertise of VARI with the cutting-edge translational genomics and analysis of TGen.

Dr. Trent will replace Dr. George Vande Woude, who in 1998 was appointed the founding Director of VARI.

"The search for a new director has ended with the best possible results - a renowned, research director in Dr. Trent, who will now lead VARI, and an alliance that strengthens two of the nation's fast-emerging leaders in biomedical research," David Van Andel said.

Dr. Vande Woude, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, will remain at VARI as head of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology. Dr. Vande Woude, who held top-level administrative posts at the National Cancer Institute since the early 1980's, will be able to achieve a long-held desire to return to the lab full-time.

"This is a great moment for both Institutions. I have known Dr.Trent professionally for nearly 20 years and have always admired him as one of the nation's leading scientists. One of Dr. Trent's greatest attributes is bringing together researchers from many disciplines to work on problems that will improve human health," Dr. Vande Woude said.

TGen is dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and infectious diseases. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research, in which investigators unravel the genetic basis of complex diseases and medical conditions.

VARI opened its facility in 2000. Its 18 research laboratories are primarily dedicated to molecular cancer research, but it also focuses on conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, osteoporosis, and heart disease. VARI will open a 240,000 square-foot building expansion this fall, which will allow it to broaden its efforts to include additional neurological disorders and chronic illnesses. VARI's primary work has been in basic research - looking for what occurs to cause disease in individual cells, and using that information to identify "biomarkers" that can help predict and diagnose diseases, and lead to the development of safer, more effective drugs.

"VARI is on the verge of expanding its already strong basic research programs and implementing further translational research," said Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen's Physician-In-Chief and a world-renowned cancer scientist.

"TGen is poised to translate the discoveries generated in laboratories from both organizations into real solutions for patients," said Dr. Von Hoff, who also is Chief Scientific Officer of TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare. "This is a terrific opportunity to work together and increase our chances of making a difference for our patients."

Both TGen and VARI are relatively young organizations that have triggered regional growth of the life sciences and biomedical industries in Arizona and Western Michigan.

Both organizations have a strong focus on cancer, collaborations and expansion locally, nationally and internationally.

The "alliance and affiliation agreement" is expected to become effective July 1, 2009.

# # #

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit 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.


About Van Andel Research Institute
Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich., dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the frontiers of medical science, and to achieving excellence in education by probing fundamental issues of education and the learning process. VARI, the research arm of VAI, is dedicated to probing the genetic, cellular and molecular origins of cancer, Parkinson and other diseases and working to translate those findings into effective therapies. This is accomplished through the work of over 200 researchers in 18 on-site laboratories, in laboratories in Singapore and Nanjing, and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. For additional media resources and more information, visit: www.vai.org.


Arizona Internet Marketing
Arizona Biotechnology Marketing
Biotechnology News

Monday, February 02, 2009

Drug used in stroke patients Alzheimer’s disease

Drug used in stroke patients might also improve learning and memory, while reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, TGen and ASU researchers find



02-02-2009

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Feb. 2, 2009 – A drug used to improve blood flow to the brain also could help improve learning and memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study released today by investigators at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Arizona State University.
Fasudil has been used for more than 10 years to help protect the brain in stroke patients by dilating blood vessels when blood flow is curtailed.

Now, a team of Arizona psychologists, geneticists and neuroscientists report in today’s edition of the journal Behavioral Neuroscience that hydroxyfasudil, the active form of the parent drug Fasudil, improved spatial learning and working memory in middle-aged rats when negotiating a complicated maze.

The findings suggest that hydroxyfasudil may influence similar cognitive processes in humans involving the hippocampus, a part of the brain that has been shown to deteriorate in patients with age-related disorders.

"If Fasudil proves to be safe and effective in enhancing learning and memory, it could represent a viable new option for the prophylactic treatment of disorders with a cognitive decline component. This could include diseases like Alzheimer's as well as general age-related impairment. In short, it may be a new pharmaceutical weapon that could be used even before the occurrence of symptoms," said Dr. Matthew Huentelman, an Investigator in TGen's Neurogenomics Division.

Clinical trials are being explored in the areas of cognitive impairment and dementia, said Huentelman, the scientific paper's first author.

Although far from proving anything about human use of the drug, the findings supports the scientific quest for a substance that could treat progressive cognitive impairment, cushion the impact of aging, or even enhance learning and memory throughout one's life span.

"Fasudil shows great promise as a cognitive enhancer during aging," said Dr. Heather Bimonte-Nelson, an Assistant Professor in ASU's Department of Psychology and the paper's lead author. "The effects in our aging-animal model were robust, showing enhancements in both learning and two measures of memory. The possibility that these findings may translate to benefits to human brain health and function is very exciting."

In the study, the researchers gave daily injections of hydroxyfasudil to middle-aged (17-18 months old) male rats, starting four days before behavioral testing and continuing throughout testing. Injection made it easy to give the drug to rats, but people take it in the form of a pill.

Rats were tested on a water radial-arm maze, which assessed how well they remembered which of the radiating arms had a reward, a sign of accurate spatial learning and working memory. Rats given a high dose (0.3750 mg per kg of weight) of hydroxyfasudil successfully remembered more items of information than those given a low dose (0.1875 mg per kg). Both dosed groups performed significantly better than control-group rats given saline solution. On this same test, the high-dose group showed the best learning (fewest total errors) and best working memory (measured two different ways).

For every test of learning, the scores of the low-dose group fell between the scores of the no-dose and high-dose groups, meaning that learning and memory boosts depended on the size of the dose.

Fasudil, is used to protect the brain by dilating blood vessels when blood flow is curtailed. In the body, Fasudil breaks down into the more potent hydroxyfasudil molecule, which the authors hypothesize may alter memory by affecting the function of a gene called KIBRA. The authors recently demonstrated that KIBRA might play a role in memory in healthy young and late-middle-aged humans.

Hydroxyfasudil inhibits the activity of Rho-kinase enzymes, which have been shown to inhibit Rac, a vital protein that supports key cellular functions. The authors speculated that blocking Rho-kinase enables Rac, in turn, to activate more of an enzyme called protein kinase C-zeta, which may in turn affect the KIBRA protein.

The authors received financial support from the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the state of Arizona. They maintain that they have no competing financial interests. Four of the authors hold stock in Sygnis Pharma AG, a German pharmaceutical company that owns the rights to develop this drug class as a potential memory enhancer. They stated that Sygnis was not directly involved in this study, did not fund any part of it, and did not influence the decision to study these drugs or the conclusion.

The findings appear in the February issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, which is published by the Washington, D.C.-based American Psychological Association.

Article: "Peripheral Delivery of a ROCK Inhibitor Improves Learning and Working Memory," Matthew J. Huentelman, PhD, and Dietrich A. Stephan, PhD, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Arizona and Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium; Joshua Talboom, BS, Arizona State University; Jason J. Corneveaux, BS, David M. Reiman, undergraduate student, and Jill D. Gerber, BS, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, Arizona; Carol A. Barnes, PhD, Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium and University of Arizona; Gene E. Alexander, PhD, Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium and University of Arizona; Eric M. Reiman, PhD, Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium and University of Arizona; Heather A. Bimonte-Nelson, PhD, Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium and Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona; Behavioral Neuroscience.



Arizona Internet Marketing
Arizona Biotechnology Marketing
Biotechnology News