Moffitt Cancer Center and Proteacel have entered a licensing agreement under which Proteacel has acquired the exclusive rights to the 'Pore' technology for delivery of genes into cells.

Under the terms of the agreement, Proteacel will pay Moffitt license fees, milestone payments and royalties on sales of Pore products and services.

Moffitt researchers have developed a technology that improves the functionality and performance of transfection technology, which is the process of introducing foreign DNA, or genes, into cells.

The patented Perforation Optimization and Repair Enhancement, or Pore, solves a number of immediate problems in the use of transfection by creating a higher level of efficiency and cell viability. This is particularly valuable for stem cells and primary cells that are medically relevant and difficult to transfect.

Dr Deepak Agrawal said: “I am pleased that the Pore technology will be made available to researchers throughout the world. We believe Pore will fuel biological discovery by allowing more effective use of stem cells and primary cells for research, drug discovery and development of cell therapies.”

Joseph Zendegui, president and chief operating officer of Proteacel, said: “Proteacel’s initial business activity will have Proteacel contracting to transfect specific hard to transfect cell lines with identified DNA. Target customers for this service will be academic institutions and biotechnology companies in the biomedical research field. Using Pore as our technology base, we will expand our efforts into development and commercialization of drug discovery, cell differentiation assays.”

Ray Carpenter of office of technology management and commercialization at Moffitt, said: “We are excited to see this technology move from the research labs here at Moffitt Cancer Center into the capable hands of Proteacel for the continuation of its development. Further, our office will remain focused on bridging entrepreneurs and Moffitt’s faculty to cultivate local start-up company opportunities.”