February 1, 2012

WSU and Premier Health Partners announce clinical research initiative

WSU & PHP Clinical Trials Research Alliance will increase clinical research access in Dayton region

DAYTON, OHIO—Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State Research Institute and Premier Health Partners announced today the formation of the Wright State University & Premier Health Partners Clinical Trials Research Alliance to increase medical research opportunities for physicians and clinicians and boost access to clinical trials in the Dayton region.

This major public-private initiative partners the Dayton region’s strongest biomedical research institution with the clinical resources of the region’s leading hospital system. Premier Health Partners is making a major investment of $4 million over five years to support the infrastructure of the alliance. It is expected to build a $5 million to $7 million annual clinical research portfolio over five years, roughly doubling the total of what the medical school and Premier have today.

“The alliance will attract new research funding from federal and industry sources that will have direct economic impact by strengthening the medical science and services sector of the Dayton region’s economy, as well as create opportunities to commercialize new devices, treatments and technologies developed at the university,” said Wright State University President David R. Hopkins. “The alliance will also help the partner organizations build a national reputation for delivering top-notch health care and serving at the forefront of medical research.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Wright State University in this collaboration,” said Jim Pancoast, president and CEO of Premier Health Partners. “Physicians and other health professionals on staff at our hospitals have conducted clinical trials and research for many years but now, through the new Clinical Trials Research Alliance, the impact will allow us to be much more far-reaching. This is a tremendous benefit to patients seeking answers to unlock the cause of illnesses and those looking for possible cures.”

Pancoast added, “We also look forward to the possibilities of attracting expert medical professionals to locate to the Dayton region and join forces with us to advance medicine.”

Clinical research is the scientific study of how a new medicine or treatment works in people. Through clinical studies or trials, doctors find new and better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, control and treat illnesses.

The National Institutes of Health, other federal sources and pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies spent $94 billion on research and development in 2008, according to Center Watch, the leading source of clinical trials information for both clinical research professionals and patients.

The Wright State Research Institute will lead the alliance’s development, providing business infrastructure and administrative support, as well as building a pipeline for new research projects. The administrative support will free doctors and researchers at both Wright State and Premier from much of the extensive paperwork and bureaucracy that can discourage doctors from pursuing clinical research projects, said Ryan Fendley, institute director.

The alliance will help attract not only research dollars, but also talented physicians to the area.

“We know that in order to recruit and retain the highest caliber physicians, we need to provide a first-class academic enterprise and research opportunities,” said Molly Hall, M.D., vice president and chief academic officer at Premier.

The alliance will be established from existing facilities at Wright State and initially with Miami Valley Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital as the Premier hospitals, but will be available to all PHP hospitals and practices in the future.

Arthur S. Pickoff, M.D., professor and chair of the medical school’s Departments of Community Health and Pediatrics, and assistant dean for clinical research, will direct the alliance.

“We anticipate this will be a game-changer for clinical research in the Dayton region,” Pickoff said. “This research alliance will give the residents of the Dayton region and beyond the opportunity to participate in a large number of cutting-edge clinical trials, which will result in the development of the medical treatments and cures of tomorrow.”

About Wright State University

Wright State University serves nearly 20,000 students and offers more than 100 undergraduate and 50 Ph.D., M.D., graduate and professional degree programs. WSU’s Boonshoft School of Medicine is a community-based medical school affiliated with seven major teaching hospitals in the Dayton area. The medical school educates the next generation of physicians by providing medical education for more than 410 medical students and 415 residents in 13 specialty areas such as surgery, family medicine and emergency medicine. Its research enterprise encompasses centers in the basic sciences, epidemiology, public health and community outreach programs. More than 1,410 of the medical school’s 2,715 alumni remain in medical practice in Ohio.

The Wright State Research Institute is a university-affiliated, non-profit research organization that creates interdisciplinary teams to solve problems for industry and the Department of Defense, driving the technological state-of-the-art through use-inspired research. Through applied research and services, WSRI employs emerging technologies to solve difficult problems facing the aerospace, commerce, defense, health care and energy sectors.

About Premier Health Partners

Based in Dayton, Ohio, Premier Health Partners provides services to patients throughout a nine-county region, and its mission is to build healthier communities. The health system operates four hospitals: Miami Valley Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Atrium Medical Center and Upper Valley Medical Center. In addition, the health system offers a large primary and specialty care network, along with home health services. With more than 14,000 employees and 2,300 physicians, the health system is the second largest employer in the region and is the largest healthcare system in Southwest Ohio.

For more information about the WSU & PHP Clinical Trials Research Alliance, visit the CTRA website.

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