• For Immediate Release
    March 24, 2011 - AUSTIN, TX
  • For more information, contact
    Chris Cutrone 512-305-8483

TEXAS ADVANCES FIGHT AGAINST CANCER CPRIT ANNOUNCES 22 NEW CANCER RESEARCH AND COMMERCIALIZATION GRANT AWARDS


The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) today awarded $116 million for 22 innovative cancer research and commercialization projects at 16 Texas-based institutions and private companies.  The grants announced today and the recruitment of five researchers to Texas are the part of $216 million expected to be awarded by the Institute in 2011 to support groundbreaking cancer research, drug development, and evidence-based cancer screening efforts in Texas.  Together with matching funds committed by grant recipients, more than $500 million has been invested in Texas’ ten year mission to change the face of cancer.

“CPRIT is proud to be doing exactly what Texans demanded – investing in the people and projects that will find a cure for cancer,” said the Institute’s Oversight Committee Chairman Jimmy Mansour.  “The groundbreaking work singled out today brings us one step closer to that goal.”

Many of the cancer research awards announced today will fund ambitious team-science projects at leading Texas institutions to tackle critical issues in cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment.  Among the awards are five CPRIT Scholars in Cancer Research recruitment grants bringing outstanding scientists from preeminent institutions outside of the state to join the faculty at Texas universities. Other key initiatives include collaborative projects targeting various cancers including prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.

In addition to the awards made to research institutions, CPRIT also announced a company commercialization award to the Texas-based Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to provide funding critical for late-stage testing of a therapeutic that has the potential to significantly change the treatment for bone marrow transplant patients.  CPRIT’s company commercialization awards are a critical part of the Institute’s initiative to support commercialization opportunities – moving scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the patient.  Not only is Bellicum’s project expected to contribute to progress in cancer treatment, but the company commercialization award will support 40 highly skilled Texas jobs (30 new jobs) over the next two years.

“Texas is leading the way in cancer research and prevention efforts,” stated CPRIT Executive Director Bill Gimson.  “The investment Texas makes today in attracting new talent and expertise to the state will be life-changing for many of our fellow Texans and others around the world fighting cancer.”

Texas leads the nation in its commitment to curing cancer.  In 2007, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment establishing the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and dedicating up to $3 billion to invest in groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas. Passionately committed to the war on cancer, CPRIT focuses on expediting the innovation and commercialization of cancer research – in turn increasing the potential for a medical or scientific breakthrough – and enhancing access to evidence-based prevention programs and services. CPRIT accepts applications from Texas-based public and private entities for grants to supporta wide variety of cancer-related research projects and for the delivery of cancer prevention programs and services. More information about CPRIT is available at www.cprit.state.tx.us.

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