For ground-breaking scientific research in gene editing and an innovative partnership with Jerusalem-based NovellusDx to advance personalized cancer treatment, the Gene Editing Institute of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care received the inaugural Life Sciences and Bio Innovation Award from the Philadelphia-Israeli Chamber of Commerce on May 22.
The new award was created to recognize a company, researcher or individual in the tri-state area that has the potential to make a significant impact on health care, according to the Philadelphia-Israeli Chamber of Commerce.
“We are building the tools of tomorrow as we provide leading-edge care for our patients today,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, Christiana Care president and chief executive officer. “The Gene Editing Institute is undertaking transformative research in the human genome with direct applications to cancer care. By forming partnerships with leading biomedical firms around the world, the Gene Editing Institute is laying the groundwork for a vibrant, job-producing innovation corridor in Delaware and the region.”
A unique strength of the Gene Editing Institute is its integration within the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center.
In late 2016, the Gene Editing Institute and NovellusDx received a $900,000 grant from the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial R&D Foundation(BIRD Foundation) to develop a new series of state-of-the-art gene editing technologies that help identify the genetic mechanism responsible for both the onset and progression of many types of cancer.
The BIRD Foundation promotes collaboration between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology fields for the purpose of joint product development. Projects submitted to the BIRD Foundation undergo evaluation by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology of the U.S. Department of Commerce and by the Israel Innovation Authority.
“The Gene Editing Institute’s partnership with NovellusDx has elevated the general interest in U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial R&D Foundation in the region,” said Vered Nohi, executive director of the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
NovellusDx’s mission is to provide functional information about mutations and their responses to drugs so that oncologists can treat patients with precision therapies and bio-pharmaceutical companies can develop drugs more effectively. The NovellusDx approach is to monitor the functional effects of mutations and observe the effects of drugs, drug combinations and drug candidates on the activity level caused by the mutations.