Windber Institutes, Soon-Shiong Molecular Institute Partner to Create Cancer Research Center
News Aug 17, 2015
Windber Medical Center (WMC) and Windber Research Institute (WRI) have entered into definitive agreements with the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, a nonprofit medical research organization founded by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele Chan, to establish an integrated community based health care organization delivering 21st century care.
The vision for WMC and WRI is to become dedicated molecular medicine and genomic research institutions and centers of excellence for studying cancer and other diseases. WMC and WRI will remain non-profit institutions with WMC continuing its mission as an acute care community hospital and retaining its existing service lines. Regional and national clinical delivery partnerships with major health systems are under discussion. “Dr. Soon-Shiong is a visionary at the forefront of transforming health care in the U.S. and around the world through research, technology and integrated communication,” said Tom Kurtz, CEO of WMC and WRI.
“Importantly, the transaction will align WMC and WRI with NantWorks, an ecosystem of companies founded by Dr. Soon-Shiong to revolutionize health care and other industries with improvements in science, technology and communication. Joining forces with CSSIOMM will allow us to expand our footprint and change lives for the better in our community here in Pennsylvania as well as across the nation.” “The transaction will enable WMC and WRI to not only grow but serve as the perfect platform for translating cutting edge medical science into the clinical setting at the local community level,” said Dr. Soon-Shiong.
“CSSIOMM’s expertise, resources and reach, combined with WRI’s state of the art tissue bank and DNA and RNA extraction capabilities, furthers the stated mission of our respective organizations, which is to engage in advanced medical care and pioneering medical research for the benefit of patients. It is important to our mission to support local community care and the 30 bed hospital at Windber is an important resource that must be protected.”
In 2014, CSSIOMM partnered with the University of Oxford to establish the Chan Soon-Shiong Center for Genomic and Proteomic medicine for cancer patients in the United Kingdom. That same year, CSSIOMM established The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where state-of-the-art genomic and proteomic technologies are applied to identify precision diagnoses, treatments and cures for young patients facing serious illnesses.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.