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University of Colorado joins with major research firm to partner on stem cell research

AURORA (July 22, 2010) A major research company with expertise in managing clinical trials is partnering with the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus to more efficiently bring the latest stem cell discoveries from the laboratory to the patient.

CPC, formally known as the Colorado Prevention Center, officially moved into the University Physicians Incorporated building across the street from the campus on Friday.

It is the first tenant in the new building, symbolic of the emphasis researchers have placed on stem cells and their far reaching implications for the future of health care.

The company will partner with the CU School of Medicine's Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology which is expected to attract research money from around the world and bring new jobs to the area.

William Hiatt, MD, president of CPC, said the move will solidify "our critical relationship" with the Stem Cell Center.

"With the collaboration of the Stem Cell Center's scientists and our ability to manage future clinical trials and the School of Medicine's commitment to this combined program, our ability to advance new therapies is tremendous," he said.

CPC, the parent company of CPC Clinical Research and CPC Community Health, is a non-profit that has been managing clinical trials for more than 20 years. Scientists and administrators hope the partnership will speed up the transition from work in the lab to work with actual patients.

Dennis Roop, PhD, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology, said the alliance could produce major breakthroughs in cancer research, treating skin diseases, regrowing damaged veins and arteries and creating a steady supply of clean, human blood.

"We could take a biopsy of a damaged cornea, grow the stem cells, transplant them to the patient and restore vision," he said. "Currently we don't have a program like that in the U.S., but this has created an opportunity to do it here."

Lilly Marks, vice-president for health affairs at the University of Colorado and executive vice-chancellor of the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus, said the move will further enhance the scope and reach of the campus.

"We want to make this the epicenter of health care throughout the Rocky Mountains and beyond," Marks said. "The stem cell research and trials that go on here will impact the entire world." Colorado State Sen. Morgan Carroll of Aurora was on hand at Friday's press conference to lend her support. "This partnership will attract research grants and new business," she said. "And it will also save lives."


Contact: David Kelly
University of Colorado Denver

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