By Chris Bosak Published 6:00 am, Wednesday, September 20, 2017


NEW YORK — Hearst announced on Wednesday a $75 million equity investment in M2Gen, a health data and information subsidiary of Moffitt Cancer Center, to help accelerate the discovery of cancer therapies and improve care for patients nationwide.

The funding will expand efforts of the nation’s first major data sharing network among cancer institutions.

“Hearst is committed to investing in companies and solutions whose information and analytics can improve and advance health care,” Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz said in a statement. “M2Gen is making enormous strides in advancing cancer research through its pioneering work, and we are proud to join this mission.”

Moffitt Cancer Center, which is based in Tampa, Florida, is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer. It is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Moffitt Cancer Center is known for its ability to take groundbreaking research and convert it to treatments.

M2Gen’s Total Cancer Care protocol was developed to enable better research of cancer and patients. It tracks patients throughout their lifetimes and uses the data to develop therapies and advancements in cancer care. The clinical and genetic information is used by researchers to accelerate new drug discoveries and match cancer patients to clinical trials.

“Moffitt’s culture is rooted in teamwork and collaboration. It is why we have been so successful at developing new treatments and bringing them to cancer patients,” Moffitt President and CEO Alan F. List said in a statement. “Adding Hearst to M2Gen’s strengths will magnify the work we are doing and help define the future of innovation in cancer care worldwide. Patients will benefit profoundly.”

In 2014, Moffitt, M2Gen and Ohio State University created the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network, the first national cancer data sharing network.

“M2Gen’s vast and growing database helps pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies accelerate discovery of new therapies by helping match cancer patients to clinical trials based on the unique molecular features in their disease,” M2Gen Executive Chair William Dalton said. “Hearst’s investment will be used to scale the patient database and accelerate the structuring of the data to facilitate clinical discoveries.”

Hearst has offered health care information solutions since 1980, and its Hearst Health division includes First Databank, Zynx Health, MCG, Homecare Homebase and MedHOK. Hearst Health spans the clinical, pharmacy, home and hospice care, and health insurance markets.

“This partnership with Hearst will allow us to invest in the people, technology and cancer center partners … that will improve quality, safety and efficiency within the health care system and increase patient engagement with the patient as an active participant in their own journey,” M2Gen President and CEO Timothy R. Wright said.

Barclays acted as the financial adviser to M2Gen on the transaction.

Hearst is the owner of publications and websites across the country, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Times Union and the properties of Hearst Connecticut Media.