Repurposing Research Project Led by University of lll. Clinician Wins CureAccelerator Live funding

Project Addresses Treatment for Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia (CLI)
SKOKIE, Ill. - March 29, 2016 - PRLog -- On March 22, the Cures Within Reach ( Young Professionals Board hosted CureAcceleratorâ„¢ Live!, a new philanthropic pitch event where researchers from Chicago's top medical research institutions presented their innovative repurposing research plans to an audience of 128 participants who selected one winner to receive funding. The winning project received proceeds from the event, which totaled $26,701, and will also receive proceeds from Cures Within Reach's Longest Day of Golf event in June, to completely fund the project's $50,000 budget.

"The goal of CureAcceleratorâ„¢ Live! is to create positive patient impact by funding a proof of concept repurposing research project clinical trial that can provide the data necessary for physicians to consider off-label use, or for follow on funders to fund a larger confirmatory trial," said Dr. Bruce Bloom, President and Chief Science Officer for Cures Within Reach. "This was an inspiring event that brought together researchers, clinicians, patients, pharmaceutical industry professionals and funders to hear repurposing research ideas and learn about the impact they can create."

Dr. George Havelka of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Dr. Darwin Eton presented the winning project, "Saving Limbs: Helping Nature Do Its Magic," which addresses treatment for chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLI). CLI patients suffer from impeded blood flow to their limbs, resulting in pain, tissue damage and potentially amputation. The research team has found that combining a compression device with a drug originally approved for use in cancer patients significantly improves patient outcomes, eliminates the need for surgery, and reduces amputation rates. The funding received will support a clinical study of CLI patients to better understand the molecular effects of the repurposed treatment. Results from this study can then be used to support a larger clinical trial, and support off-label use if a physician finds the data supportive.

"All of the repurposing research projects presented were exceptional and hold such promise for so many people facing life-threatening diseases," said Alexandria Bobe, a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, and Chair of the Cures Within Reach Young Professionals Board. "We congratulate Drs. Havelka and Eton for the outstanding presentation on their remarkable repurposing project that will change the lives of CLI patients."

Also this week, Cures Within Reach announced that it has secured $40K for Dr. Stacy Kahn's work to create a patient registry tracking pediatric recurrent clostridium difficile patients treated with fecal microbiota transplantation. Dr. Kahn also presented at CureAccelerator Live! This funding is in partnership with a private foundation dedicated to improving health for children and dedicated to Chicago area institutions. Cures Within Reach also secured funds from Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships to help Dr. Kahn pursue a proof concept clinical trial testing swallowed human microbiota capsules as a solution to this life threatening pediatric gastrointestinal infection problem.

Other remarkable repurposing research projects pitched or featured during the event included:

-Repurposing Metformin to Treat and Improve Survival for Aggressive Lymphomas by Reem Karmali, MD from Rush University Medical Center

-Enabling Precision Therapy for Severe Childhood Epilepsy by Alfred George, MD at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University

-Novel therapeutic strategy to prevent Alzheimer's disease by Grace Stutzmann, PhD at Rosalind Franklin University

-Treating Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease by T. Celeste Napier, PhD at Rush University Medical Center

Sponsors for the inaugural CureAccelerator Live! event included the Judy Hirsch Foundation, Insight PD, Medmarc, Anna Lisa Somera, Horizon Pharma plc, Innoblative, Briteseed, Schiff Hardin, Boston Consulting Group, Bryan Cave, HFF, the University of Chicago Biotech Association and Output Medical.

Cures Within Reach ( works to catalyze repurposing research to quickly and affordably improve patient lives. We accomplish this through collaborations that connect researchers and funding, by facilitating crowd sourcing and community, and by identifying alternative financing models and incentives.

Cures Within Reach's repurposing research projects have generated 13 "new" treatments making an impact through off-label use in clinical practice or through a commercialization track.

Cures Within Reach built CureAccelerator ( to provide a global collaboration space and market for repurposing research that can deliver effective solutions to unsolved diseases. The CureAccelerator platform was built with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to explore whether drugs, devices and nutriceuticals approved for one or more human diseases can be repurposed to create "new" treatments in other diseases.

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Location:Skokie - Illinois - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Mar 30, 2016
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