SAN DIEGO, March 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Gensignia Life Sciences, Inc., (Gensignia) a molecular diagnostics company specializing in microRNA (miRNA) signatures as cancer diagnostic tools, today announced the appointment of Napoleone Ferrara, M.D. as a scientific and clinical adviser to the company.
Dr. Ferrara said: "I am pleased to be joining Gensignia at this stage in the company's development and I look forward to advising the company as it advances miRNA research towards promising diagnostics and potential therapeutics for lung and other cancers."
Gensignia is developing a series of miRNA clinical diagnostic tests that will enable earlier, and potentially more accurate, diagnosis to improve survivability of lethal cancers such as lung cancer. Gensignia intends to offer its proprietary MSC Lung Cancer Test beginning in 2015 following Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification for its test and laboratory in San Diego.
Gensignia's Chief Executive Officer, Lee R. McCracken, said: "We are honored to welcome Dr. Ferrara to Gensignia, a scientist whose discoveries and achievements have advanced the treatment of cancer for countless patients worldwide."
Dr. Ferrara is Senior Deputy Director for Basic Sciences at University of California's Moores Cancer Center in San Diego, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He is also Editor-in-Chief, of the AACR journal, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Dr. Ferrara discovered vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and pioneered development of new treatments for cancer and age-related macular degeneration during his career at Genentech. In the 1980's at the University of California, San Francisco, he began studying the process of angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels. Dr. Ferrara's research led to the development of the anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody bevacizumab (Avastin®) initially approved for the treatment of colorectal cancers. This drug is now used for a broad range of cancers in combination with standard chemotherapeutic drugs.
Dr. Ferrara's studies on the role of VEGF in intraocular neovascularization also led to the clinical development of ranibizumab (LUCENTIS®) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. For his VEGF discovery, he won the Lasker-deBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2010. Dr. Ferrara has also won numerous other awards including the António Champalimaud Vision Award (2014), the Gairdner Foundation International Award (2014), the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2013), The Economist Innovation Award for Bioscience (2012), the Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research (2011), the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award (2009), the ASCO Science of Oncology Award (2007), election to the National Academy of Sciences, USA (2006), the General Motors Cancer Research Award (2006), the Passano Award (2006), the Lefoulon-Delalande-Institut-de France Prize (2005), and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation Prize (2004).
Gensignia Life Sciences, Inc. is a privately held molecular diagnostics company advancing development and global commercialization of the Gensignia MSC Lung Cancer Test in 2015, and additional diagnostic tests in the future.
For more information visit www.gensignia.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release about the Company's expectations, applications of its technology, markets, launch of tests and other statements that are not historical fact are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are based on management's current beliefs, assumptions, estimates and projections. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements for various reasons, including risks associated with product and test development, test transfer to contracting labs, government regulation, market acceptance, limited commercial experience and dependence on key personnel and financing.
Avastin® and LUCENTIS® are registered trademarks of Genentech, Inc.