Four projects focused on cancer treatment technologies have been bolstered by nearly $3.5 million in grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Health Secretary Dr. Eli N. Avila recently presented Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) Program grants to the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, Thomas Jefferson University, UE LifeSciences, Inc. and The Wistar Institute.
The CURE program funds health research with the purpose of discovering new scientific knowledge to help improve the health of all Pennsylvanians.
“This is an exciting time in health research, and we are confident this research will improve public health and help Pennsylvanians to live longer, healthier lives,” said Avila.
The competitive grants focus on specific research priorities established and reviewed by the Department of Health in conjunction with the Health Research Advisory Committee, a panel made up of universities and research institutes.
The funds, allocated in the 2011–12 fiscal year, focus on projects that translate the information found within the human genome. The grants support research that commercializes and brings to market new, proven cancer diagnostics or therapeutics.
The Institute for Hepatitis and Vital Research has received a $909,170 grant for a project to develop a drug with higher efficacy, lower toxicity and fewer side effects against primary liver cancer; which is resistant to chemotherapy, has few therapeutic options and is usually fatal.
Thomas Jefferson University has received a $744,156 grant for a project that focuses on developing clinical evidence needed in the commercialization of a molecular test identifying colon cancer patients at risk of developing recurrent disease and who will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.
UE LifeSciences Inc. has received an $878,244 grant for a project that seeks to further develop and clinically validate a low-cost, easy-to-use mobile medical technology that can noninvasively detect and classify a breast tumor by measuring its mechanical properties.
Wistar Institute has received a $991,900 grant for a project that will lead to the development of a prototype blood test for early detection of lung cancer.
Twelve projects statewide are receiving CURE grant awards totaling $15.3 million. Since the program’s inception, the Health Department has awarded more than $750 million in CURE grants.