Northwestern Medicine

The Woman's Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital Contributes $2 Million to Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute

Northwestern Memorial Hospital March 05, 2014

CHICAGO, IL – The Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute (NMDTI) has received a pledge of $2 million from The Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital to support the launch of the NMDTI, the establishment of its first clinics, and critical start-up funding to create the Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Fellowship Program. The generous gift and the new fellowship program will allow physician-scientists who have completed their initial training in internal medicine and hematology and/or oncology, to further specialize in the rapidly evolving field of developmental therapeutics.

“With our commitment to the institute, The Woman’s Board is furthering its mission of helping to solidify Northwestern’s position as a preeminent site for cancer research and treatment,” said Laura Davis, president of The Woman’s Board. “With the introduction of crucial Phase I trials, patients in Chicago and the region will have access to novel therapies at Northwestern Medicine and we are delighted that the program will be training the next generation of teachers in developmental therapeutics.”

Focused on accelerating the translation of preclinical science breakthroughs to the development better therapies for patients, NMDTI was established in 2013 with extensive support from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern UniversityNorthwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Since its inception, the NMDTI has experienced rapid growth including the recruitment of a dedicated team of health care providers trained to conduct complex early phase human studies, and the build out of specially outfitted outpatient clinic space in Northwestern Memorial. The need for access to novel therapies has proven so compelling that expansion plans are already underway for additional space offering continuous outpatient access and the creation of corresponding inpatient services.

“The Lurie Cancer Center provides the critical infrastructure needed to conduct early phase studies that NMDTI is focused on, as well as the support for clinical development of the cancer agents all the way to global regulatory approval,” said Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, interim director of the Lurie Cancer Center. “A priority of the Lurie Cancer Center and the NMDTI’s mission is to train the next generation of scientists. The quality and accomplishments of the first three NMDTI Fellows are a testament to the enduring value that The Woman’s Board gift brings to our patients and our community.”

“NMDTI researchers focus on tissue-agnostic targeted-agent studies, which are one of our most clinically and academically rewarding activities,” said Frank Giles, MD, director of NMDTI and associate director for translational research and developmental therapeutics at the Lurie Cancer Center. “Tissue-agnostic studies involve treatments developed to target the products of a disease’s abnormal genetic code. We are then able to identify diseases that appear to be quite different clinically, but share the same genetic targets, and as a result may also respond to the same therapeutic approach.”
“A training program will position Northwestern as a leader in this area and expand the number of physician-scientists who can play a key role in translating laboratory-based discoveries into safe and effective cancer therapeutic agents. Enabling patients to very rapidly reap the rewards of pre-clinical science is our ultimate goal,” added Giles. “There is an increasing array of therapeutic options, including drugs, viruses and nanoparticles that can effectively and safely alter those targets.”

To learn more about NMDTI and how to enroll in a developmental therapeutics clinical trial, call 312.472.1234 or visit them online.

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