Irvine, California, October 27, 2022 – Thanks to a five-year, $8 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of California, Irvine has been designated as one of CIRM’s Alpha Clinics. The goal of the statewide network is to accelerate the development of promising stem cell and gene therapies and to expand patient access to them through Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trials. United States Drug Administration.
“Fueled by our passion for world-class science, our dedication to finding cures by delivering transformative stem cell and regenerative medicine treatments, and our unwavering commitment to addressing health disparities and equity for patients, we will launch an innovative microgrid with healthcare partners spanning four California states. counties and serving all age groups, from children to veterans of our nation,” said Dr. Daniela A. Bota, Director of UCI Alpha Clinic, Vice Dean of the UCI Faculty of Medicine for clinical research and principal investigator for the CIRM grant. “Our unique focus on cell and gene therapy clinical trials for neurological diseases and cancer will increase access for our patients and allow us to lead the way in introducing new regenerative treatments to the Alpha Clinics network.
Using a hub-and-spoke model, UCI’s Alpha Clinic will lead cell and gene therapy efforts within the university’s academic health system and in close collaboration with its academic partners in a four-county region. Called the REAL Microgrid (drawn from the letters in the participating county names), it will integrate established health system partners in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties, expanding UCI’s ability to reach some of the most medically underserved patients in the state and further strengthen UCI’s nationally recognized leadership in addressing health disparities.
“The new UCI REAL micronetwork will create practical knowledge to be shared across the CIRM Alpha Clinics network, while providing direct access to a wide range of clinical programs and engaging in meaningful national collaborations. This hub-and-spoke model, based on established partnerships, increases the accessibility of the statewide Alpha Clinics Network to diverse populations, encourages active community participation, provides opportunities to enhance the development of workforce and train the next generation of clinical stem cell and gene therapy researchers,” said Sean Turbeville, Ph.D., vice president of medical affairs and policy at CIRM.
Bota will lead the UCI Alpha Clinic and oversee its REAL microgrid, which encompasses the UCI Medical Center and Orange County clinical sites; the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in Long Beach and VA sites in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, under the direction of Dr. Anton Eissa; Children’s Hospital of Orange County – CHOC – and its clinical sites, under the direction of Dr. Raymond Wang; and Community Hospitals of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, under the direction of Dr. Sasidharan Ponthenkandath of UC Riverside School of Medicine.
“The UCI Alpha Clinic, together with our partners, will serve as a conduit, translating discovery into clinical research. Over the past three years, the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at UCI has made significant investments in infrastructure, including two new research clinics, a production facility to manufacture cell therapies and FDA-compliant genetics and a cell processing lab. Together, our microgrid model and expansive infrastructure, including the new UCI Health – Irvine Medical Complex being built in Irvine, will bring value to the CIRM Alpha Clinics network and the regenerative medicine ecosystem in California and the beyond,” said Aileen Anderson, Ph.D., director of the UCI Stem Cell Center and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the UCI School of Medicine.
About the UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Launched publicly on October 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for the UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and raising $2 billion in philanthropic investments, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more . The School of Medicine plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/uci-school-of-medicine.
About University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by US News and World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, leading research, innovation, and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It is located in one of the safest and most vibrant communities in the world and is the second largest employer in Orange County, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion globally. of State. To learn more about the UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more information about the UCI, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists can be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.
About California Institute of Regenerative Medicine: At CIRM, we never forget that we were created by the people of California to accelerate stem cell treatments for patients with unmet medical needs, and act with a sense of urgency to achieve this mission. To meet this challenge, our team of highly skilled and experienced professionals actively partner with academia and industry in a hands-on entrepreneurial environment to accelerate the development of today’s most promising stem cell technologies. With $5.5 billion in funding and over 150 active stem cell programs in our portfolio, CIRM is one of the largest institutions in the world dedicated to helping people by bringing the future of cellular medicine closer. reality. For more information, visit https://www.cirm.ca.gov.
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