Irvine, CA, October 27, 2022 With a five-year, $8 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine at UCLA, 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 expand patient access to them through FDA-approved clinical trials.
“Driven by our passion for world-class science, our dedication to finding cures through the delivery of transformative stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine, and our unwavering commitment to addressing health disparities and patient equity, we will launch an innovative micro-network with healthcare partners across four Californians,” said Dr. Daniela A. Botta, Director of UCI Alpha Clinic, UCI Medical School Vice Dean for Clinical Research and Principal Investigator for the CIRM Grant: Provincial and serving all age groups, from children to our country’s veterans.”Our unique focus on clinical trials of cell and gene therapy for neurodegenerative diseases and cancer will increase the outreach of our patients and enable us to Leading the way in introducing new regenerative therapies to the Alfa Clinic network.”
Using a hub-and-spoke model, UCI 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-district area. Dubbed the True MicroNetwork (taken from letters in participating county names), it will integrate well-established health system partners in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties, expanding the UCI’s ability to reach some of the state’s most medically disadvantaged patients and further strengthening UCI leadership Recognized at the national level in addressing health disparities.
“The new UCI REAL MicroNetwork will create practical knowledge for engagement throughout the CIRM Alpha network of clinics, as well as provide direct access to a wide range of clinical programs and participate in a meaningful national collaboration. This pivotal and speaking model, built on existing partnerships, increases the reach of the CIRM Alpha network. Alpha Clinics statewide to diverse populations, encourages active community participation, and provides opportunities to promote workforce development and train the next generation of clinical researchers in stem cell and gene therapy, said Shaun Torpville, PhD, CIRM vice president for medical affairs and policy.
Botha will lead the UCI Alpha Clinic and oversee its true micro-network, which includes the UCI Medical Center and clinical sites throughout Orange County; Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in Long Beach and VA locations in Orange and Los Angeles County, 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 in Riverside and San Bernardino County, under the direction of Dr.
The UCI Alpha Clinic, along with our partners, will act as a conduit for translating the discovery into clinical research. Over the past three years, the UCI Sue & Bill Gross Center for Stem Cell Research has made extensive investments in infrastructure, including two new research clinics, a production facility to manufacture FDA-compliant cell and gene therapies and a cell processing laboratory. Together, the micro-network model and expanded infrastructure, including the new UCI Health-Irvine medical complex under construction in Irvine, will provide value to the CIRM Alpha network of clinics and the regenerative medicine ecosystem in California and beyond,” said Eileen Anderson, Ph.D., director of the Cell Center. UCI Stem and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UCI School of Medicine.
About UCI’s Bright Future campaign: It was launched bright future The campaign aims to raise awareness and support the UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and earning $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI strives to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research, and more. The medical school plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/uci-school-of-medicine.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the top 10 public universities in the country by US News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel Laureates and is known for its academic achievements, pioneering research, innovation, and the anteater’s amulet. Led by Chancellor Howard Gilman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It is located in one of the safest and economically 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 statewide. For more information about UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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about California Institute of Regenerative Medicine: At CIRM, we never forget that we were created by Californians to expedite stem cell therapy for patients with unmet medical needs, and act with a sense of urgency to succeed in this mission. To meet this challenge, our team of highly trained and experienced professionals actively engages with both academia and industry in a hands-on entrepreneurial environment to rapidly track the development of today’s most promising stem cell technologies. With $5.5 billion in funding and more than 150 active stem cell programs in our portfolio, CIRM is one of the largest organizations in the world dedicated to helping people by bringing the future of cellular medicine closer to reality. For more information, go to https://www.cirm.ca.gov.