Physicians Interested in collaborating with the Institute:
The Institute needs physicians to volunteer to identify and recruit patients to participate in obtaining tissue samples from patients to create induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells. If interested in participating, fill out the below form and submit your contact information.
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The Institute is the leading the development of a private stem cell biobank. The Institute is collaborating with private hospitals, clinics and industry to create over 5,000 patient and disease-specific stem cell lines and other human cell lines to advance drug discovery and biomanufacturing. These cell lines are derived from adult sources and do not include embryonic stem cells.
A stem cell biobank will help overcome the greatest obstacle drug discovery and will accelerate the search for effective treatments. It will do so by allowing drug testing to be performed on patient specific stem cells, in contrast to to the currently used models involving animal testing and performing clinical trials that is vastly more expensive and time consuming. The biobank stem cell lines will serve as models to better predict the outcome of drug therapy in patients and dramatically advance research to bring new treatments to market sooner and at less cost. The need to create a stem cell biobank of human somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, and other critical human cell lines is underscored by some sobering statistics. The annual rate of FDA-approved drugs has declined while the research and development cost has significantly increased. The cost of bringing a drug to market is currently more than one billion dollars and takes over ten years. A new heart drug has a 20 percent chance of succeeding in a clinical trial and a new cancer drug has only an 8 percent chance of succeeding.
The Institute is actively recruiting patients with the following disorders to develop stem cell lines for screening drugs: (1) Lysosomal Storage Diseases; (2) Genetic Diseases; (3) Neurological Diseases with Strong Family History –e.g. Alzheimer and Parkinson Disease, ADHD, dyslexia, Autism and ALS.
The Institute is also recruiting doctors to participate in our research activities to find more effective treatments for cancer patients. Over 26 billion dollars a year is spent on chemotherapy and only a third of patients are achieving a complete remission. One of the main reasons for this discouraging result is the presence of cancer stem cells in tumors. Cancer stem cells are more resistant to chemotherapy, more likely to cause cancer to relapse and are more prone to metastasize. At present, routine isolation of cancer stem cells and drug susceptibility testing is not performed.
The Institute has a federally registered Institutional Review Board (IRB). This structure allows the Institute to recruit patients to procure their tissue samples for producing stem cell models for screening drugs that may lead to clinical trials. The Institute can recruit patients anywhere within the United States to obtain the necessary tissue, but we need the support of private physicians to realize this program.
The Institute is asking private practice doctors to consider assisting our research program in any of the following ways: (1) refer patients that you may be caring for; (2) serve as a site where a patient can come to your office practice for a small skin punch biopsy, small fat biopsy or blood sample, which will be used for medical research.
We have attached a flyer that briefly highlights our research program. If you are interested in participating, we ask that you call our Institute at (319) 688-7367 to let us know of your interest. Alternatively, you can enter your contact information on this page.
We have attached flyers of our rare disease and cancer program that briefly highlights our research program.