Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Launches Innovative Therapeutics Development Centers

March 16, 1998

BETHESDA, Maryland, March 16, 1998: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has just selected seven top (CF) care centers to be part of an innovative Therapeutics Development Center network. Through this model clinical research center network, CF researchers will more quickly translate discoveries in the laboratory about CF into new therapies.

The seven CF Therapeutics Development Centers that will serve as "hubs" for clinical trials are located at: The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore; Children’s Hospital, Boston; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati; Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Cleveland; Children's Hospital, Denver; and Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center and the University of Washington in Seattle. Each will be awarded $750,000 by the CF Foundation over a five-year period.

The CF Therapeutics Development Center network was created to capitalize on the increasing wealth of information uncovered by Foundation-supported scientists about the basic defect in CF. By establishing specialized clinical centers, researchers can seize these opportunities to intervene in the disease process through promising new CF treatments. The clinical research will also build upon early phase trials already underway in CF gene therapy, protein-assist therapy, as well as studies to test anti-infective drugs.

"Progress toward our goal * to move all promising discoveries about CF from the test tube to the bedside * will be accelerated through this program," says Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president, CEO and medical director of the Foundation. "These centers are building the infrastructure to conduct clinical research as efficiently and quickly as possible."

Specifically, the Therapeutics Development Centers will expedite the early phases of clinical trials that evaluate safety and dosing regimens for new drugs. The final phase, which assesses the drug’s effectiveness in a large population of patients, will involve the CF Foundation’s full network of 113 accredited care centers across the country.

Cystic fibrosis is a complex, fatal genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in this country. Despite the increasing lifespan for individuals with CF, now up to 31.3 years, CF remains fatal. Therefore, life-saving therapeutics must be developed.

 The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

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