Thursday, 31 July 2008

Med BioGene’s LungExpress DX™ Co-Inventor Takes Home $5 Million Award

Basic shares: 29.1 million
Fully diluted: 42.2 million

Dr. Francis Shepherd, co-inventor of Med BioGene’s LungExpressDX™ was recently awarded the prestigious Premier of Ontario’s Summit Award for her efforts in the field of lung cancer research, most notably her longstanding international leadership in the development of innovative approaches for lung cancer treatment and management.

Established in 2007, The Premier’s Summit Awards are designed to help attract and retain leading researchers in Ontario. Recipients receive $5 million over a five year period, the largest grant of its kind in Canada.

Dr. Shepherd is an award-winning researcher, professor and senior staff physician at Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network in Toronto, where she holds the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research and is also the site Group Leader for the Lung Cancer site.

In 2001 she was named the Scott Taylor Chair in Lung Cancer Research, becoming the first holder of this esteemed research position with a primary goal of investigating new options for lung cancer therapy.

As Chair, Dr. Shepherd plays a vital role in attracting graduate students, scientists, other doctors and further research funding which will enable her team to intensify their study of lung cancer. Dr. Shepherd also serves as Chair of the Lung Cancer Site Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group and is the immediate past President of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, having served as president from 2003-2005. She was the recipient of the Jacqueline Seroussi Memorial Award for Cancer Research in 2004, the O. Harold Warwick Award for Research Excellence of the National Cancer Institute of Canada in 2006 and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Research Award in 2007. She also received Ontario’s highest and most prestigious honour, the Order of Ontario in 2007.

Dr. Shepherd has been the co-investigator or principal investigator in more than 80 clinical trials since 1982. In 2002, for example, she was a part of a team at Princess Margaret Hospital credited with the first identification of gene clusters involved in lung cancer using microarray technology and has been instrumental in establishing Lung Cancer Tumour Banks. She has also led trials that have changed treatment for patients with lung cancer worldwide.

View The Summit Awards' video on Dr. Shepherd below.

About LungExpress Dx™

In April 2008, MBI and UHN entered into license and collaboration agreements providing MBI with exclusive, world-wide rights to develop and commercialize LungExpress Dx™, a critical prognostic test for early stage non-small-cell lung cancer developed by UHN.

LungExpress Dx™ is a gene expression-based test that provides valuable information regarding each patient’s prognosis for survival to more effectively guide treatment and improve the selection of patients for chemotherapy following surgical removal of their cancerous tumour.

“This test has the potential to make an immediate impact upon patient care by providing a more significant understanding of each patient’s cancer, thus resulting in better-informed, more appropriate treatment decisions. We are moving much closer to the ultimate goal of personalized medicine,” said Dr. Shepherd.