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VCU Massey Cancer Center to partner with Israeli biotech firm
Date:3/25/2008

The Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center will open a Phase I pancreatic cancer study later this year in conjunction with leading researchers from Israel, marking the first time cancer researchers at VCU have partnered with their counterparts in Israel.

The study is supported by a $950,000 grant from the U.S.-Israel Bi-National Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRDF). Leaders from the Virginia Israel Bioscience Commercialization Center (VIBCC) helped to foster Israeli interest in research at VCU.

The clinical trial, designed by Massey principal investigator Ray Lee, M.D., Ph.D., involves a novel targeted therapeutic agent developed by BioCancell of Jerusalem and will offer new hope for one of the most difficult-to-treat cancers.

This collaboration is a tangible outcome of the initiative launched by the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park more than a year ago to recruit Israeli life science companies with innovative products and technologies to Virginia and the Research Park, said Robert T. Skunda, President and CEO of the research park.

The world, indeed, is getting flatter, said Donna Edmonds, executive director of the Virginia Israel Bioscience Commercialization Center. By importing and exporting high-quality medical research and building collaborative clinical studies such as this, we can work toward saving more lives of people with cancer in Virginia and across the globe.

Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., director of the VCU Massey Cancer Center, said, Having an organization dedicated to promoting Virginias academic, clinical and biotechnological expertise is a boon to the Commonwealth. As federal funding for cancer research in the United States has shrunken in the face of expanding scientific opportunities for better treatment and prevention, its vital that we explore international collaborations and funding sources, too. We are grateful to the VIBCC for serving as a beacon to guide intern
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Contact: Andrea Butler
albutler@vcu.edu
804-628-2111
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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