Moffitt Cancer Center Announces Strategic Partnership with Advinus Therapeutics

June 18, 2013

TAMPA, Fla. and BANGALORE, India – Moffitt Cancer Center announced a strategic partnership with Advinus Therapeutics to advance its discoveries to the clinics. Two promising targeted cancer therapies (Rb:Raf-1 disruptor and ROCK inhibitor) developed by Moffitt scientists are selected as the first set.  The Rb:Raf-1 disruptor holds great clinical potential because disruption of the Rb:Raf-1 interaction leads to inhibition of cellular signaling pathways involved in cell growth, blood vessel creation, and the spread of cancer cells.  Similarly, the ROCK (Rho-associated protein kinase) inhibitor may have significant patient value because expression of its target ROCK1 is significantly higher in breast tumor tissue than normal tissue and is associated with aggressive disease, the spread of cancer cells and poorer prognosis. 

This strategic partnership leverages the strengths of the organizations.  Moffitt has a strong track record of oncology drug discovery and clinical research. Advinus Therapeutics excels in translating early discovery into potential products. The synergistic relationship is aimed at accelerating the translation of novel treatments for cancer from lab to clinic.  Another potential dimension of the collaboration includes performing early stage clinical trials at Moffitt with various oncology drugs provided by Advinus.   

“We are delighted to embark on this exciting partnership with Advinus to leverage their skills and expertise to advance Moffitt therapies towards commercialization for improved patient care.   This partnership is ripe for future growth and expansion to include other therapeutic technologies made by our internationally renowned scientists,” said Jarett Rieger, director of Moffitt’s Office of Technology Management and Commercialization. 

Advinus has launched a Special Purpose Vehicle incorporated as a separate legal entity, Advinus Canada, with the aim of using its pre- and early-clinical expertise to advance discovery programs primarily from academia and has selected the Rb-Raf and ROCK programs from Moffitt’s Chemical Biology and Molecular Medicine program as a part of the first set of programs to progress in 2013.

“The new era of pharmaceutical research and development is going to witness innovative models for globally networked partnerships that will extract the best each partner has to offer,” said Rashmi Barbhaiya, Ph.D., chief executive officer and managing director of Advinus. “The Moffitt-Advinus collaboration is established along these lines with an aim to identify novel drug candidates to meet clinical needs and generate a benchmark for return on investment for pharmaceutical research and development.”

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Since 1999, Moffitt has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, twitter and YouTube.

About Advinus Therapeutics and Advinus Canada

Advinus Therapeutics is a privately held research-based pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development. The company has been promoted by the TATA group, India’s largest and most respected business house and led by executives with extensive international experience in pharmaceutical R&D. Advinus is the first of its kind in India to offer end to end pre- and early-clinical development services. Advinus Canada is incorporated as a Special Purpose Vehicle to progress programs from academia and other sources through IND and early-clinical development. The aim is to establish a globally networked model for innovation for efficient     progression of the programs to the clinic and eventually the patient and to create a new benchmark for ROI. For more information, visit