Children’s Hospital LA: $50 Million Personalized Medicine Center Expansion
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) announces February 12th that it will commit $50 million in institutional funding over the next 5 years to expand its Center for Personalized Medicine. CHLA will seek an additional $50 million in philanthropic funding from the community. The focus will be on the following 3 areas with the greatest potential to impact children’s health:
• Inherited Diseases
• Infectious Diseases.
CHLA’s Center for Personalized Medicine will use genetic testing to “refine and make treatment and care more precise for each” of the three areas. The Center is initially concentrating on pediatric cancer. A new gene sequencing test will identify all changes related to the retinoblastoma gene (RB1) in eye cancer patients. CHLA treats 20% of all retinoblastoma patients in the US. Over time, genetic conditions such as autism, cleft palate, congenital heart disease, epilepsy, and neurocognitive disorders will be included in the program.
This announcement follows President Obama’s recent announcement of support for the Precision Medicine Initiative. Per Alexander R. Judkins, M.D., executive director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at CHLA:
“The practice of personalized medicine and the development of targeted treatments will depend on comprehensive, long-term research using vast amounts of genetic data. Tremendous computing power is essential for scientists to begin to identify the millions of possible combinations of mutations that contribute to illness or disease, and ultimately to make meaningful discoveries that will lead to better treatments,” he says. “The investment necessary to realize the vast potential of personalized medicine at CHLA is large, but the dividends that will be paid in the form of longer and healthier lives for generations of children are enormous.”
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles February 12, 2015 News Release.