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NHLBI Awards $32M for Regional Centers to Translate Medical Innovations

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said today that it has awarded $31.5 million to multiple institutional partners to create three regional centers that will help biomedical researchers translate their discoveries into commercial products that improve patient care and public health.

The National Institutes of Health Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAIs) will be located in the Boston area, Southern California, and Ohio. They will use the new funding to support translation of early-stage innovations aimed at diagnosing, treating, managing, and preventing heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

NHLBI said the centers "will provide an integrated, systematic, and comprehensive approach to navigating" the process of moving innovations from the lab to commercialization and into clinical care.

Each NCAI will function as a consortium of academic, government, non-profit, and industry partners who will fund feasibility studies and provide regulatory, legal, and business expertise, along with training in entrepreneurship. Each of these centers also has secured non-federal funding of equal or greater value than the NHBLI grant.

The program also will leverage partnerships with other federal agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration, the US Patent Office, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The East Coast NCAI, called the Boston Biomedical Innovation Center, includes Brigham and Women's Hospital; Boston Children's Hospital; Massachusetts General Hospital; and President and Fellows of Harvard College.

The Midwest NCAI, called the Cleveland Clinic Innovation Accelerator, includes The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Case Western Reserve University; Cincinnati Children's Hospital; The Ohio State University; and the University of Cincinnati.

The Southern California NCAI, called the UC BRAID Center for Accelerated Innovation, includes the University of California, Los Angeles; UC-Davis; UC-Irvine; UC-San Diego; and UC-San Francisco.

"This landmark program will help NHLBI derived maximum benefit from its existing research and development investments and ensure that the resulting breakthrough innovations move rapidly and effectively into available products that reduce the health burden of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, and diseases," Jodi Black, NHLBI's deputy director of the Division of Extramural Research Activities, said in a statement.