TGen attracts Dallas partner in Translational Drug Development

December 19th, 2013
ORIX USA Health and Life Sciences has completed an investment into Translational Drug Development (TD2) through the purchase of equity from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

TGen will remain a significant minority equity holder in TD2, which has been a for-profit subsidiary of the non-profit TGen.

ORIX USA, a Dallas-based diversified financial conglomerate with nearly $ 5 billion in assets and $30 billion of assets under management, will provide the capital needed to enable TD2 to expand its capabilities to assist pharmaceutical companies in the development of new drugs based on the specific molecular profile of individual cancer patients.

"The investment from ORIX USA into TD2 speaks to the value-creation that TGen brings to Arizona, and in this case specifically to Scottsdale," said Tess Burleson, TGen Chief Operating Officer and President of TGen Accelerators. "This transaction showcases TGen's strength in bringing bioscience investment dollars from out-of-state to Arizona."

Dr. Jeffery Trent, TGen President and Research Director; Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen Physician In Chief; and former TGen executive Richard Love, founded TD2 in 2003 to accelerate cancer research and rare disease drug development for global pharmaceutical and leading academic institutions.

Under the leadership of President and CEO Dr. Stephen Gately, TD2 has managed and designed hundreds of preclinical and clinical engagements that have measurably improved the drug discovery process in one of humans' most complex disease areas, cancer. TD2's unique approach to patient identification, high throughput computational chemistry, and advanced genomic and diagnostic data analysis, gives the company a distinct and sustainable scientific advantage towards accelerate drug discovery in the fields of oncology and rare disease.

ORIX USA and TD2 will establish a unique and capital-efficient drug development model that leverages TD2's broad capabilities and oncology expertise with ORIX's international financial and operational resources.

Dr. Gately and existing management will continue to lead the company at their headquarters on the Mayo Clinic campus in Scottsdale.

"TD2 is excited to partner with ORIX USA Health and Life Sciences because of their knowledge and expertise in growing life science companies," Dr. Gately said. "Working together we will focus on the rapid development of effective new medicines for patients with cancer."

John Amos, CEO of ORIX USA Health and Life Sciences said, "ORIX is excited and privileged to work with the world-class scientists at TD2 and TGen. I have looked for a TD2-like company that combines scientific expertise and a focus on capital efficient drug discovery for the better part of a decade. We are thankful that TGen and TD2 have selected ORIX as their capital and development partner for their next phase of growth."

An independent assessment of TD2's economic impact performed by Pittsburgh-based Tripp Umbach predicted that by 2015 TD2 and its affiliations would have a total annual economic impact of $239 million, generating 1,080 jobs and producing $6.6 million annually in direct and indirect tax revenues for the City of Scottsdale.

Gov. Jan Brewer hailed the TGen-ORIX USA partnership as a key example of the benefits of supporting Arizona bioscience.

"This partnership shows that we can grow and diversify the Arizona economy in ways that will pay dividends in expanded jobs and revenues now, and exponentially in the future," Gov. Brewer said.

Dr. Trent said the growth and expansion possibilities brought about by ORIX USA will over the long-term add to TD2's value and provide great potential for creating clinical benefit.

"There is a high demand for TD2's integrated suite of tools that inform clinical development plans," Dr. Trent said. "By aligning with ORIX, we can move more rapidly in expanding our reach, which has the potential for bringing increased benefit to patients in need of ground-breaking therapies."

Provided by The Translational Genomics Research Institute

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