Tag Archives: diagnoses

medical.research

PCH forms pediatric genomics institute

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital to announce the formation of a visionary institute, The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The new partnership brings together the medical expertise and resources of renowned surgeon and healthcare technology visionary Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, with Phoenix Children’s commitment to genomic research and access to a large pediatric patient base. The institute will transform the pediatric health care landscape by applying state-of-the-art genomic and proteomic technology to identify precision diagnoses, treatments and cures for young patients facing serious illnesses.

“Our goal is to bring genomics research to the forefront of pediatrics,” said Robert L. Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “With Dr. Soon-Shiong’s transformative technology implemented at Phoenix Children’s, the realization of all children having access to life-saving precision medicine becomes one step closer.”

Soon-Shiong is the founder of Nantworks, largely dedicated to applying genomic and proteomic analysis studies to translate diagnoses and cures more quickly and accurately. To date, his efforts have been focused on the adult population. Through this institute, Phoenix Children’s will serve as the exclusive national hub for pediatric genomic research and translational precision medicine.

“Phoenix Children’s is unique among children’s hospitals,” noted Dr. Soon-Shiong. “The leadership and the board of this hospital are leading their peers in health care by executing on an operational principle of patient centered 21st century care. They have attracted talented researchers and clinical scientists and have demonstrated their ability to advance a vision for precision medicine in pediatrics.”

At the crux of this revolutionary undertaking is super computing cloud based technology and artificial intelligence. Phoenix Children’s will be home to one of the few dedicated supercomputers in the country, which can deliver genomic sequencing and analysis more quickly than ever before. Appropriate patients undergo full genome sequencing and proteomics analysis in an unprecedented seven days.

“Current genome sequencing takes time,” added Meyer. “And that’s something that these patients don’t have. The mission is to develop innovative and effective diagnostics and therapies for young patients, while empowering physicians with the most up-to-date research and therapeutic models available, all to deliver potentially life-saving treatments.”

Often, existing treatment protocols lack efficacy for patients; this new genomic analysis will alter that dynamic through specific and targeted therapeutic remedies based on the individual’s unique genetic makeup. In time, Soon-Shiong’s technology will lead to a comprehensive genomic database platform, from which a shared information consortium will be integrated into a global diagnosis, treatment, and result-based methodology. A vast bank of pediatric patient data will be generated via a consortium of children’s hospitals, led by Phoenix Children’s.

“The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute will fundamentally alter the way pediatric health care is delivered around the world,” said Meyer.

Health Insurance

AZ Isotopes bringing jobs to Goodyear

AZ Isotopes has selected the city of Goodyear as the site for a state-of-the-art facility which will improve the diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases. By producing several  medical isotopes that are either not currently available or difficult to obtain in Arizona, the Goodyear facility will support health care by giving physicians and their patients the most modern tools for diagnoses and treatments as well as research towards  improving medical outcomes.

Construction and operation of the facility also will result in high-quality jobs.  Initially, about 50 technical and managerial professionals will be employed.  As demand for the isotopes and the research program expands, additional high-quality positions will be added.  Substantial growth can be expected as industry analysts estimate the projected market for medical isotopes at about $6 billion by the year 2018.

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord is highly supportive.  She stated: “We are excited to bring this new high-tech life sciences enterprise to Goodyear, along with highly skilled professionals and high-paying jobs.  Goodyear has everything companies like AZ Isotopes need to operate and grow their businesses.  We are growing and ready to help accommodate companies like AZ Isotopes to provide jobs and expand our work base.”

The Goodyear-based Western Regional Center for The Cancer Treatment Centers of America is also supporting the city’s efforts to help ensure that the new research and production facility is located nearby. It stated: “Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) in Goodyear applauds the city’s economic development efforts in healthcare initiatives which lower the nation’s reliance on foreign products.”  Edgar D. Staren, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Western added, “We look forward to a readily available local isotope supply that could support our patient needs.”  Additionally, several major universities (including the University of Arizona) have already expressed interest in taking advantage of the facility’s research capabilities.

The Goodyear location will contain the full spectrum of operations necessary for providing the highest quality support for medical care and research.  Included will be manufacturing, engineering, administrative, sales and executive positions.  AZ Isotopes has assembled an internationally-renowned team of top scientists and physicians to begin site preparation and facility design and construction.

The site for the Goodyear plant is a 10-acre tract along Litchfield Road, north of Maricopa 85 and close to the Phoenix-Goodyear airport.  Because delivery time is critical to the users of medical isotopes, the facility’s proximity to the airport is very fortuitous. AZ Isotopes President and COO David Barshis stated, “Goodyear offers an ideal location for our planned operations, and local government has been extremely helpful in the process expected to provide a key competitive advantage over other isotope manufacturers.”

The heart of the facility is a unique, variable-energy medical cyclotron accelerator capable of producing medical diagnostic imaging and therapeutic isotopes which are not currently available, or have limited availability, from other commercial sources in the U.S.  This facility will join other local cyclotrons supporting various related types of medical treatments in the area. Locally, the Phoenix campus of Mayo Clinic has already announced plans to construct a facility to house a cyclotron designed specifically to be used for fixed-beam proton therapy at its new $130 million cancer center.  And the Phoenix-based Banner Alzheimer’s Institute is currently replacing its smaller cyclotron with a new unit for production of isotopes that enable detailed brain imaging.