SAINT PAUL, MN 07/17/15 — Recombinetics and Newborn Foundation Launch Newborn Health Research Institute
Among first translational research partnerships to focus on newborn biomedicine.
Recombinetics, a Minnesota-based innovator in gene editing in biomedicine, in collaboration with the Newborn Foundation, a Minnesota-based global nonprofit leveraging technology for early diagnosis and treatment for the youngest patients - announces the launch of the Newborn and Pediatric Health Research Institute (NPHRI).
Among only a handful of translational research institutes in the world focused on newborn and infant health, the program sponsors the development and execution of collaborative translational research projects led by teams of engineers, clinicians, scientists, academics, policy experts and other educational and programmatic implementers. The program includes collaborative partnerships with the University of Minnesota’s Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (PDICMN) and will work to develop healthcare solutions that address unmet or poorly met clinical needs while also addressing vital health policy issues.
“The Newborn Foundation has done a remarkable job of driving policy change and identifying the very specific clinical needs of these underserved pediatric patient populations. It’s exciting to see how such efforts are now driving innovation in processes and design for patients,”remarked Dr. Gwenyth Fischer, founder of the Pediatric Design Innovation Consortium, Pediatrician and Assisant Professor of Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
Initial translational research targets include exploring birth defects with special emphasis on the lung, brain, and heart. In the U.S., 1 in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect, the leading cause of death in the first year of life. As a group, heart defects are the most common of these, affecting 1 in every 100 births in the U.S. An additional 1 in 1000 babies will be born with inherited metabolic disorders, most requiring ongoing care and intervention.
“Our mission is to accelerate research and the development of advanced therapeutics needed to effectively treat patients. This new research hub is a vehicle to make that groundbreaking work happen for the youngest patients and those who treat them,” said Scott Fahrenkrug, CEO of Recombinetics.
The Newborn Foundation and Recombinetics will collaborate on identifying primary translational research targets, programmatic and grant pursuits where gene-editing technology and related Recombinetics platforms are useful in achieving the NPHRI’s mission of achieving faster, more effective breakthrough interventions for babies and young children.
“We have seen the power of biomedical platforms and technology partnerships in advancing research for some of the most devastating pediatric conditions, including the critical congenital heart disease my own child was diagnosed with as a newborn,” added Annamarie Saarinen, co-founder and CEO of the Newborn Foundation.
The NPHRI efforts will be tied directly to the accelerated development of systems and medical technologies with near-term clinical applications in newborn and pediatric health and those that will benefit young patients when innovations are commercialized.
A private company founded in 2008, Recombinetics has emerged as a global leader in proprietary gene repair and gene-editing technology. Breakthrough scientific research –including the development of TALEN technologies –has resulted in global, exclusive rights in the biomedical, animal agriculture and livestock vertical markets.
The Pediatric Design Innovation Consortium provides knowledge, infrastructure, technical support and expert consultation on pediatric medical device development – from concepting through commercialization. The University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, the College of Science and Engineering, the School of Medicine, Medical Device Center and Life Science Alley all contribute to creating an extraordinary climate of opportunity for innovators.