Prince William County-based ATCC, a global leader in biological materials management and standards headquartered in Innovation Park, was recently awarded a contract valued up to $32 million to manage and operate one of the world’s largest repositories of biological specimens.  Under a separate contract, the company was also selected by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to distribute a new generation of cancer models under the Human Cancer Models Initiative (HCMI).

According to a Company announcement, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. awarded ATCC a contract to support the NCI at Frederick Central Repository, which is one of the largest repositories in the world with an inventory of more than 15 million clinical specimens.  It serves as a national resource for the biomedical community by providing bio-specimen collection management to the NCI and other government organizations.

“ATCC is a world-recognized biological resource center with over 90 years of successful biorepository expertise,” said Dr. Raymond H. Cypess, ATCC Chairman and CEO.  “We are honored to support Leidos Biomed and the NCI in their important mission of supporting the biomedical community with advancements in cancer and infectious disease research.  This program extends ATCC’s clinical biorepository management portfolio for both government and commercial customers.”

Directly following this award, ATCC announced a contract to distribute a new generation of cancer models under the HCMI.   Launched in July 2016, the HCMI is an international collaboration between NCICancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and the foundation Hubrecht Organoid Technology, to develop approximately 1,000 cancer cell models that better represent the hallmarks and diversity of human cancer.  The new models will be generated using tumor tissue from patients with a variety of cancer types, including rare and pediatric cancers, and will include a complete genetic analysis and anonymized clinical information about the patients and their tumors, including their response to treatment.

“ATCC has been supporting cancer research for more than 50 years,” said Dr. Mindy Goldsborough, ATCC Chief Science and Technology Officer, speaking on the HCMI award.  “We are honored to support the NCI with this important initiative.  These new models could transform how we study cancer, including how the disease progresses and develops drug resistance, and help guide the development of new cancer therapies for the millions living with and affected by cancer worldwide.”

“ATCC has been a welcome addition to our roster of life sciences companies in Prince William County,” said Jeffrey Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development.  “The groundbreaking work being carried out by ATCC is consistent with and reflective of the caliber of companies we expected to attract when we embarked on the establishment of Innovation Park,” he added.

Prince William County prides itself on having created a well-established and burgeoning life sciences community and on being home to the first and only public-private, commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia – the Prince William Science Accelerator which is uniquely located within Innovation Park, anchored by the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus.   In September, the wet lab facility was recognized for its efforts in driving America’s science and technology start-up ecosystem and received an award of $50,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration to boost entrepreneurial innovation in life sciences and technology. 

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