Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center To Host Biotech Conference

One of Tampa's highest profile health centers will showcase the business of biotechnology at an upcoming conference Feb. 1.

The fourth annual Business of Biotech will be open to the general public and be held at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa. It is expected to attract 250 people, including venture capitalists, angel investors, physicians, attorneys, bankers, accountants, business partners and medical device companies, among others.

This year is different because Moffitt is showcasing M2Gen, its for-profit subsidiary, with tours. M2Gen is Moffitt's collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., based in Whitehouse Station, N.J. M2Gen collects tissue and data from Moffitt patients and from patients at 18 other sites.

Merck profiles, analyzes and stores the data. The data then flows back to Moffitt for its staff to use to make medical discoveries.

"It is a valuable research tool," says Jarett Rieger, director of the office of technology management and licensing and associate general counsel for Moffitt.

The conference provides information on the latest trends in biotechnology but its impact goes beyond that, Rieger says.

"It appeals to a lot of different people," he says. "Our main objective to promote life sciences in the Tampa Bay region. We want to develop an ecosystem."

Keynote speaker will be Garry Nolan, a biotechnology entrepreneur who holds numerous patents, started three companies, published 140 articles and is also a tenured professor in the Department of Micorbiology and Immunology at Stanford University.

Writer: Dave Szymanski

Source: Jarett Rieger, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

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