The center, established in 2003 with an initial TFP award of $19.5 million (combined Wright Center and Research & Commercialization), has united international leaders in stem cell biology, therapeutics, and clinical medicine to develop novel cell-based therapeutics for the benefit of patients throughout Ohio. The center's leadership is comprised of Director Stanton Gerson, M.D., who also directs the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Ireland Cancer Center of UHC, Co-director Paul DiCorleto, Ph.D., who also directs the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute and Executive Director Debra Grega, Ph.D.
The new award will support development of new therapies for heart, cancer and neurological disorders, with funds targeted for early patient clinical trials. This builds on current strengths as cancer and cardiovascular disease are disciplines in which the two clinical centers (Cleveland Clinic and UHC) rank among the top five institutions in the United States.
"This continued support from the Third Frontier Program is a validation of the development work accomplished thus far and a vote of confidence for the translational projects proposed for the next three years," said Dr. Gerson.
New therapeutic approaches have led to the establishment of four new companies within the past three years: Arteriocyte, Inc., RegenRx, Inc, Ohio BioGel and Cell Targeting Inc. Additionally, 61 new jobs with an average salary of $64,925, have been created since the center was established.