Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Two new medical research centers unveiled in Georgia

By Jason Norris
Published: May 27th, 2009

Four of Georgia’s leading research and health care organizations have joined together to create a new innovation center designed to accelerate the commercialization of next-generation medical devices and medical technology. The first of its kind in the Southeast, the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) will include a comprehensive medical device prototyping center. Supported by the Georgia Institute of Technology, Saint Joseph’s Translational Research Institute (SJTRI), Piedmont Healthcare and the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA), the new center will bring together the complete medical device marketplace — university researchers and clinicians; established drug and device companies; investors, and early-stage companies. The new center will be located adjacent to the Georgia Tech campus. Plans for GCMI were announced Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue at the 2009 BIO International Convention in Atlanta. “The convergence of the life sciences with engineering provides a unique opportunity to expand our technology in areas that will support the health care industry of the future,” said G. P. “Bud” Peterson, president of Georgia Tech. “The Global Center for Medical Innovation will bring together in one location the key infrastructure needed to rapidly move new medical devices and new medical technologies to market.” The new center will include:

  • A complete medical device prototyping center;
  • The capability to produce evaluation devices using “good manufacturing practices” mandated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; and
  • The ability to manage, coordinate and aggregate intellectual property from the partner organizations and interested private companies.

The proximity to university resources is expected to make the center attractive to outside industry and start-up companies even outside the region. “Medical device companies in the Southeast have long suffered a disadvantage compared to competitors that have access to long-established support networks,” said Nicolas Chronos, MD, president of the Saint Joseph’s Translational Research Institute and an internationally-known cardiologist and researcher. “The new Georgia center will allow companies to contract with a single entity for comprehensive development activities, create a single location for investors seeking qualified medical device companies, and allow innovations developed by multiple institutions to be combined to create more useful devices.”

Just days after the GCMI plans were revealed, Georgia Tech officials another research center aimed at finding better ways to heal combat wounds and speeding those treatments into military use. The Georgia Tech Center for Advanced Bioengineering for Soldier Survivability has already partnered with several medical device firms, giving it an edge in moving advancements into medical use, said Barbara Boyan, director of the new center. Researchers at the center, which include clinicians and consultants experienced in combat medical care, are focusing on wound healing, repairing broken bones, and treating massive muscle loss using a soldier’s own stem cells. They are developing a better way to deliver stem cells to an injured area, encouraging the cells take hold and help grow damaged or missing tissue and bone, Boyan reports.

Go to: Georgia Tech and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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