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Embargoed for Release: Thursday, September 26, 2013, 8:30 a.m. EDT

NIH launches new centers to accelerate lab innovations to improve public health

The National Institutes of Health has launched a major initiative to improve how basic science advances and discoveries are translated into commercially viable products that improve patient care and advance public health.

The NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAIs), funded by the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), will target technologies to improve the diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders and diseases.

“The NCAIs will foster a transformational change in the way basic science discoveries move from the laboratory into commercial products,” said Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, director of NHLBI. “These centers essentially will offer a one-stop shop to accelerate the translation of early-stage technologies for further development by the private sector and ultimate commercialization. As a result, the public will gain access sooner to new biomedical products that improve human health while also benefiting from the economic growth associated with the creation of new companies and the expansion of existing ones.”

NHLBI issued grants totaling $31.5 million to establish three inaugural, multi-institution NCAIs.

  • Boston Biomedical Innovation Center: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and President and Fellows of Harvard College
  • Cleveland Clinic Innovation Accelerator: The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; The Ohio State University, Columbus; and University of Cincinnati
  • UC BRAID Center for Accelerated Innovation: University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; University of California, San Diego; and University of California, San Francisco

NCAIs will provide an integrated, systematic, and comprehensive approach to navigating the translation of early stage biomedical innovations from the research laboratory to commercial development and successful deployment to patients. Each center will be a consortium of academic, government, non-profit, and private sector organizations that will provide funding for feasibility studies; regulatory, legal, and business development expertise; and entrepreneurial training and mentorship. To enhance the scope and impact of the NHLBI investment, each awardee has secured non-federal funding equal to or greater than the NHLBI award.

NCAI awardees will leverage existing federal government resources, including those offered by NIH and by other federal program partners including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the United States Patent Office, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“NIH and NHLBI have long been committed to supporting resources that enable pre-clinical studies,” said Dr. Jodi Black, deputy director of the Division of Extramural Research Activities, NHLBI. “This landmark program will help NHLBI derive 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.”

According to NHLBI’s Fact Book for the 2012 fiscal year, in 2009, the estimated economic cost for cardiovascular, lung, and blood diseases was $424 billion—23 percent of the total economic costs of illness, injuries, and death in the United States. In addition, cardiovascular and lung diseases accounted for three of the four leading causes of death in the United States and four of the 10 leading causes of infant death.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Black, please contact the NHLBI Office of Communications at 301-496-4236 or nhlbinews@nhlbi.nih.gov.

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Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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This page last reviewed on September 26, 2013

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