For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida signed affiliation agreements on March 15 with two of the region's healthcare facilities, Jupiter Medical Center and Martin Memorial.
The agreements were part of the institute's dedication to research in the community, and honored part of its commitment to the Florida Innovation Incentive Fund, which assisted in funding the state-of-the-art facility.
The agreements state the trio will work together with the beginnings of a new clinical trial health consortium in the area. This will support medical research into clinical trials.
"The three of us taking the first steps in this clinical trial consortium is a great example of medical and research institutions working together to give back to our community in the form of better and more personalized health care," said Mel Rothberg, chief operating officer at VGTI Florida.
The signing took place at VGTI's facility at the Tradition Center for Innovation in Port St. Lucie.
"Collaboration is critical to ensure successful outcomes in clinical research, and this partnership will help pave the way to future scientific achievements," said Mark Robitaille, president and chief executive officer for Martin Health. "This is an exciting opportunity to continue building the future of research in our region, while helping to change the way medicine is being delivered for years to come."
Martin Health is currently finishing construction of a new hospital to open within the year next to the VGTI institute.
Jupiter Medical Center is proud to be a part of the collaboration.
"This is a great illustration of how biosciences were intended to act as a galvanizing force in Florida," said John Couris, president and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center.
Currently, VGTI has hired a medical director to work with a business development group to attract interest from sponsors and oversee operations within the clinical trial consortium.
"This consortium brings us closer to achieving our transitional research goals and engage our regional colleagues and the community in our collective research efforts," said Dr. Rafick Pierre-Sekaly, chief scientific officer and co-director at VGTI.
But the institute doesn't plan to stop there.
"Moving forward, we hope to expand our clinical trial activities and see this consortium grow to include other Florida regional hospitals," Mr. Rothberg said.