Moffitt Cancer Center Signs Licensing Agreement with Frantz BioMarkers, LLC

May 14, 2009

Technology to improve accuracy of ovarian cancer diagnosis

Tampa, FLMoffitt Cancer Center and Frantz BioMarkers, LLC have signed a license agreement on phospholipid biomarkers of ovarian cancer. Frantz BioMarkers, which has been granted exclusive worldwide rights to Moffitt’s interests in the biomarkers, will pay initiation, developmental milestone and license maintenance fees, and royalties on sales. Moffitt and Frantz BioMarkers will collaborate on ovarian cancer biomarker research, combining use of these licensed markers with lipid markers developed independently by Frantz BioMarkers.

Each year, 26,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 16,000 die of the disease. There is no effective screening tool or method for accurate diagnosis without surgery. Even among symptomatic women, surgery is the only reliable way to distinguish between benign and malignant disease. It is estimated that up to 5 percent of women in the United States will undergo surgery for a suspected ovarian neoplasm. More than two-thirds of women undergoing surgery for suspected ovarian malignancy do not have cancer.

The only clinical blood biomarker available for diagnosis is CA125, which is unreliable, especially for accurate diagnosis at an early stage when a cure is feasible. Researchers at Moffitt and Frantz BioMarkers discovered that when CA125 is combined with selected phospholipids, the diagnostic accuracy for early stage ovarian cancer can significantly improve. More than 2,200 women donated blood samples for the research through the Tampa Bay Ovarian Cancer Coalition, a collaborative regional network. Frantz BioMarkers is developing these biomarkers into a clinical diagnostic test.

Co-inventors of the technology are Dr. Rebecca Sutphen, director of Clinical Genetics at Moffitt, and Lorelei Davis, Ph.D., and Lian Shan, Ph.D., of Frantz BioMarkers.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

About Frantz BioMarkers, LLC

Located in Mentor, Ohio, Frantz BioMarkers, LLC is a member of Frantz Medical Group, a family of companies that has been developing novel medical products since 1979.

About the Tampa Bay Ovarian Cancer Coalition

The Tampa Bay Ovarian Cancer Coalition is a collaborative ovarian cancer research network established in 2001. Participants include women with ovarian cancer and healthy women who contribute blood samples, as well as the following regional physicians and organizations: Hector A. Arango, MD, James P. LaPolla, MD, Mitchel Hoffman, MD, Morton Plant Hospital, Bayfront Medical Center, St. Joseph's Women's Hospital and the Celma Mastry Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

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