Thursday, September 26, 2013
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has received one of only nine contracts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to strengthen and broaden the scope of Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs).
VTEUs are a nationwide group of institutions that conduct clinical trials of promising candidate vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases. An important strength is their ability to rapidly recruit and retain volunteers. The new contract expands the ability of the VTEUs to conduct research in both domestic and international research locations.
Cincinnati Children’s was first designated a VTEU in 2002. This contract was renewed and increased in 2007, when Cincinnati Children’s was awarded a $23.7 million contract.
This year, NIH has awarded Cincinnati Children’s an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract that has an estimated value of up to $135 million in task orders annually over the course of the seven year ordering period. The new contract has the potential to be the largest research contract or grant in Cincinnati Children’s history.
“This contract places Cincinnati in the forefront of a national effort to combat infectious diseases and offers us the opportunity to be the leader in developing and testing vaccines,” says David Bernstein, MD, a physician in the division of infectious diseases at Cincinnati Children’s and principal investigator for the contract. “Vaccines are the single most cost-effective strategy we have to combat infectious diseases.”
Established in 1962, the VTEUs have conducted hundreds of clinical trials, many of which have contributed to vaccine licensure. VTEU investigators have tested vaccines and therapeutics for diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae Type B infection, cholera, anthrax, malaria and tuberculosis. Childhood vaccines and combination vaccines – the delivery of several vaccines through one inoculation – have been and remain an important part of the VTEUs’ research goals.
With these new awards, NIAID increases the number of funded institutions from eight to nine and expand the ability of the VTEUs to conduct research in both domestic and international research locations. This includes locations where infectious diseases are prevalent and settings where medical resources are poor.
Other VTEUs include Baylor College of Medicine, Duke Medicine, Emory University, Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Saint Louis University,University of Iowa,University of Maryland in Baltimore and Vanderbilt University.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News and World Report’s 2013 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for cancer and in the top 10 for nine of 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org. Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.