Navigation Links
Foundation Venture Capital Group Makes Eighth Start-Up Investment

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., June 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- GeneAssess, Inc., a New Jersey-based biotechnology company, has received a commitment of up to $500,000 from Foundation Venture Capital Group (FVCG), Inc., to validate FRY, a cancer molecular signature gene discovered by GeneAssess scientists that could provide a more accurate diagnostic biomarker for cancer staging.

According to James M. Golubieski, president of FVCG, the company invested in GeneAssess because the FRY gene appears to be found in the breast cancer model but also shows potential for other cancers. 

In research performed to date, mutations in the gene increase rat susceptibility to mammary cancer and FRY reduced the growth of highly aggressive human breast cancer cells in animal models.

GeneAssess plans to use the investment to validate FRY as a predictive biomarker for breast and other cancers, to detect genetic mutations in at-risk populations and to explore target validation for FRY. The company has an exclusive license to the intellectual property developed by Dr. Zarbl.

"Our findings suggest that FRY could potentially be used as a platform to develop cancer gene-based susceptibility tests, for disease progression and for tumor grading," explained Dr. Helmut Zarbl, founder of GeneAssess and a professor of environmental and occupational medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "This tumor suppressor gene could be useful for developing new targeted drugs, especially for the treatment of aggressive and/or advanced breast cancer."

Dr. Zarbl is also a member of the Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), which is a joint Institute of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University and the Associate Director for Public Health Science at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

Dr. Zarbl's research team found that:

  • While rats with a normal FRY gene do not develop mammary cancer when exposed to carcinogens during puberty, rats carrying a mutant FRY gene are highly susceptible;
  • Many human breast cancer cells expressed decreased levels of FRY and that putting the gene back into these tumor cells allowed them to return to a more normal state and prevented tumor growth; and  
  • Reduced FRY expression in breast cancers and many other cancer types is associated with more aggressive tumor growth and may predict poor clinical outcomes.

Despite substantial advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, this disease still accounts for one third of all female cancers in western countries.

"We see great promise in Dr. Zarbl's discovery of the FRY gene and how it might be used to affect the diagnosis and treatment of aggressive breast cancers," noted Dr. George F. Heinrich, vice chair and CEO of Foundation Venture Capital Group.  "We are looking forward to working with him to advance his work and help to bring his ideas to commercialization."

For more information, contact James M. Golubieski, president of FVCG, at (908) 731-6601 or at

About Foundation Venture Capital Group
Foundation Venture Capital Group, an affiliate of New Jersey Health Foundation, was founded in 2006 to invest in commercially viable new start-up companies developing technology by faculty at or affiliated with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  In addition to GeneAssess, it has invested in: 

  • Actinobac Biomed Inc., developing a therapeutic agent targeting blood cells for the treatment of hematological malignancies;
  • Affineti Biologics, advancing research in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products based on new discoveries in oral biology and dental medicine;
  • CellXplore, Inc., engaged in the development of biomarker-based in vitro diagnostic assays for cancer;
  • Celvive, Inc., working to develop technology to treat patients with chronic spinal cord injuries with their own adult stem cells;
  • Durin Technologies, working to develop a blood test to diagnose Alzheimer's disease;
  • Longevica Pharmaceuticals, Inc., developing a chemoprotective agent that may keep normal cells healthy during cancer treatments (FVCG's equity interest in Longevica was recently sold to Rostock International, LTD, a subsidiary of a Moscow (Russia) based global investment firm);
  • Snowdon Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company focused on several major therapeutic areas.

SOURCE Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Beyond Batten Disease Foundation and American Brain Foundation Launch First Clinical Research Fellowship to Treat and Cure Juvenile Batten Disease
2. Immune Deficiency Foundation Urges FDA To Exempt Immunoglobulin From Biosimilars Pathway
3. Systems Alliance Launches Redesigned Website for The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland
4. Foundation for Health Improvement and Technology (FHIT) Launched to Beat Cardiovascular Disease
5. Foundation of UMDNJ Receives Grand Challenges Tuberculosis Biomarkers Grant
6. NeuroPhage Receives Michael J. Fox Foundation Funding for Parkinsons Disease Research
7. Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) Funds Human Clinical Trial
8. Galien Foundation Announces 2012 Awards Program For Best Biopharmaceutical Products and Best Medical Technology
9. Elsevier Foundation Awards 2011 Grants to Advance Women in Science and Support Libraries in Developing Countries
10. Cord Blood America Announces Exclusive Agreement With National Childrens Leukemia Foundation to Store Stem Cells
11. Silence Therapeutics Announces Positive Response by USPTO that Affirms Validity of Four Foundational RNAi Patents
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... Md. , Nov. 25, 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. ... Directors has adopted a stockholder rights plan (Rights Plan) ... net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) under Section 382 of ... --> PharmAthene,s use of its NOLs ... "ownership change" as defined in Section 382 of the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology company ... that CEO Jim McGorry will present at ... December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation ... below) for 30 days. Management will also be available ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of ... team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman ... AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it ... to make early stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/10/2015)... About signature verification Signature ... identify and verify the identity of an individual ... secure and accurate method of authentication and is ... because each individual,s signature is highly unique. Signature ... signature of an individual is compared and matched ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the ... entry into the automotive market with a comprehensive and ... of consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, industry-leading touch ... the automotive industry and will be implemented in numerous ... , Japan , and ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... to $9 million to provide preclinical development services to ... Under the contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern ... a wide variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies ... --> --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):