M2Gen Breaks Ground
TAMPA - Nearly 200 people attended the groundbreaking Wednesday morning (Nov. 14) for M2Gen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Moffitt Cancer Center. M2Gen COO Rick Garrison, Moffitt President/CEO and Center Director William Dalton, and M2Gen President and Chief Scientific Officer Timothy Yeatman kicked off the ceremony. The groundbreaking also featured Ken Hagan, chairman of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners; Pat Bean, Hillsborough County administrator; Moffitt board members Don Buchanan and Stephen Meyers; and Moffitt patient Ron Giovannelli.
M2Gen, which will be built on North Malcom McKinley Drive just north of East Bougainvillea Avenue, is the result of a partnership formed in December between Moffitt and drug maker Merck & Co. Construction company Skanska USA Building Inc. and architect RS&H (Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc.) were chosen for the M2Gen project. Construction is scheduled to begin in January and be completed in one year.
The for-profit company will develop personalized cancer treatment for patients using molecular technology. Researchers will collect tumor tissues from thousands of patients across Florida and identify the biological markers unique to each tumor. Analyzing patients' responses to specific treatments will lead to more individualized treatment featuring rapid improvement and fewer side effects.
More than 3,500 tissue samples have been collected. In October, the 10,000th patient consented to donating their tissues.
Patients, community providers, industry, government and many others will be involved in improving cancer care through M2Gen. The state of Florida, Hillsborough County and city of Tampa are providing economic incentives to bring this biotechnology to Florida. M2Gen is expected to attract new lucrative jobs to the state and bolster the Tampa Bay area's robust biotechnology industry.
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