Moffitt Cancer Center Showcases Biotech Startups at Eighth Annual Conference

February 03, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. – Startup companies poised to make a significant impact in cancer therapy and patient care will showcase the latest technologies at Moffitt Cancer Center’s eighth annual Business of Biotech Conference. The free event will be from 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in Moffitt’s Vincent A. Stabile Research Building.

The conference will bring together biomedical companies, startups, research organizations, entrepreneurs and investors for networking and partnership discussions. This year’s theme is “Moving Technologies Forward.”

For the first time, the conference will feature a “fast pitch” session in which startup executives will have 90 seconds to get the audience excited about their companies and products. Tampa Medical Innovations, Inc., a medical device startup focused on reducing the contamination hazards of IV therapy, and CvergenX, a molecular diagnostic startup developing a platform for predicting a patient’s sensitivity to radiation, are two of the companies participating.

“Business of Biotech is an opportunity to celebrate Moffitt’s cutting-edge research and connect budding entrepreneurs with investors and collaborators,” said Alan F. List, president and CEO of Moffitt. “Our goal is to transition these discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace to benefit cancer patients as soon as possible.”

Another goal of the conference is to honor leaders who have championed Moffitt and cancer research. Florida Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Pinellas County) will receive this year’s Moffitt Momentum Award, which was created to honor public servants whose tireless efforts benefit individuals battling cancer in Florida.  

Latvala was instrumental in passing 2012 legislation increasing Moffitt’s portion of the cigarette tax. This funding enabled Moffitt to begin construction on the McKinley campus, which is slated to open in 2015, creating hundreds of new jobs and the capacity to treat many more cancer patients.

“Since taking office, Sen. Latvala has missed no opportunity to promote Moffitt Cancer Center’s contribution to the community and our potential to play a role in helping our state economy grow even stronger,” said Jarett Rieger, conference chairman and director of Moffitt’s Office of Technology Management and Commercialization.  

G. Steven Burrill, chief executive officer of Burrill & Company, a venture capitalist and merchant-banking firm focusing on the life sciences, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s event.

“By any measure, 2013 was a banner year for the life sciences industry with surging stock prices, a record year for biotech IPOs, and the approval of important new products to help patients,” Burrill said. “We expect 2014 to be another strong year of performance for the sector. But companies will be challenged by continued demands to prove the value of their products and growing pricing pressures on innovative drugs from payers.”

Burrill has been involved in the biotechnology industry for more than 40 years. Prior to founding his company in 1994, Burrill spent 28 years with Ernst & Young, directing and coordinating the firm’s services to clients in the field of biotechnology, life sciences, high technology and manufacturing worldwide.

In addition to the keynote, the conference will include breakout sessions on fundraising, innovation in pharma-academia partnership and trends in corporate venture financing.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are required. To register, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488).

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. Moffitt is the No. 1 cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. 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.