Hearst Makes $75 Million Investment in Cancer Research

NEW YORK — The Hearst Corporation is making a $75 million investment in M2Gen, a health informatics subsidiary of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, one of the top cancer centers in the United States. The investment will help accelerate the discovery of innovative cancer therapies and improve care for patients nationwide. The collaboration will provide funding to expand the efforts of the nation’s first major data sharing network among leading cancer institutions.

Hearst is known for its media holdings including newspapers and TV stations nationwide but also has a Health division, which invests in health startups.

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

As one of the top-ranked cancer centers in the nation, Moffitt is world-renowned for its ability to take groundbreaking research and translate it to treatments at the patient’s bedside. A pioneer in big data for healthcare, M2Gen’s innovative Total Cancer Care (TCC) protocol was developed to enable better research of cancer and patients, tracking each patient throughout his or her lifetime, and using this information to drive novel therapies and advancements in care. Cancer therapy researchers gain access to this clinical and genetic information to help accelerate new drug discovery 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,” said Moffitt President and CEO Alan List, MD. “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 The Ohio State University built upon the legacy that began in 2006 with the creation of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN)—the first-ever national cancer data sharing network, which currently includes 17 U.S. cancer care institutions.

“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,” adds M2Gen Executive Chair William Dalton, Ph.D., MD. “Hearst’s investment will be used to scale the patient database and accelerate the structuring of the data to facilitate clinical discoveries.”

“M2Gen’s unique ability to pair a person’s clinical and genetic data for analysis puts it at the leading edge of genetics-based oncology research, and we are eager to extend Hearst Health’s reach and make an important contribution to this new area of science,” said Hearst Business Media President Richard P. Malloch.

Hearst has offered healthcare information solutions since 1980, and its Hearst Health division, led by President Gregory Dorn, MD, includes the market-leading companies First Databank (FDB), Zynx Health, MCG, Homecare Homebase and MedHOK, acquired in 2016 and also based in Tampa. Solutions from Hearst Health span the clinical, pharmacy, home and hospice care, and health insurance markets. Each year in the U.S., care guidance from the Hearst Health network reaches 84 percent of discharged patients, 177 million insured individuals, 60 million home health visits and 3.1 billion dispensed prescriptions.