Philips Healthcare, State of Ohio Announce Global Advanced Imaging Innovation Center

A $33.5 million commitment by Philips Healthcare and a $5 million Third Frontier grant from the state of Ohio will provide researchers at Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and Philips an opportunity to create medical imaging systems that will detect disease far earlier and be safer for patients than current methods.

The company and state announced the creation of the Global Advanced Imaging Innovation Center, to be housed at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center campus, at the same press conference where Gov. Ted Strickland designated Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor a state Hub of Innovation and Opportunity yesterday.

The corridor, created by the non-profit BioEnterprise and the economic-development corporation MidTown Cleveland, runs from downtown to University Circle. It includes Case Western Reserve, University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC), the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center along with 75 biomedical companies, 45 technology companies and seven business incubators.

“We are pleased that the State of Ohio has awarded Ohio Third Frontier funding to our project,” said Jay Mazelsky, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Computed Tomography and Nuclear Medicine at Philips Healthcare. The company, which employs 1,100 in Highland Heights, has committed more than $6 million annually for five years, to the project.

“The goals of this center will be to provide strategic research, development and clinical validation for advanced imaging technologies, further developing our presence in northeast Ohio and building on our existing partnerships with Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals.”

Using Phillip’s latest imagers, physicians and researchers from CWRU will help develop a variety of medical imaging technologies expected to enable doctors to see into the body’s molecules and atoms, revealing anatomical and functional information currently unattainable. They will test and improve imagers to provide for earlier diagnostics and better tracking of disease progression while increasing safety and comfort to patients.

Case Western Reserve is the lead agency for the state’s $5 million grant supporting the effort.

“This award is emblematic of the way that members of this corridor work together to achieve more than any organization could alone,” Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder said of the Third Frontier grant.

Snyder recounted the success CWRU has had in generating business and collaborating with hospitals and industry. As a result of professors’ research, the university has launched 24 companies since 2001; reaped $16.3 million in licensing revenue last year alone; and won an average of $385 million in state, federal and other grants during the last five years. In 2007, Case Western Reserve became lead agency, partnering with University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic, on a $64 million Clinical and Translational Science Award – the largest single grant the National Institutes of Health has made in Northeast Ohio.

The announcements were made at the BioEnterprise building, in a room packed with Health-Tech Corridor boosters and members, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan, Cleveland Foundation President Ronn Richard and officials from UHCMC, Cleveland State University, the Cleveland Clinic and media.

The hub overlays the corridor. The new state designation comes with a $250,000 grant and gives research and development within the hub priority for future state grants.

Baiju Shah, president of BioEnterprise, said the Dutch-owned Philips could have chosen any location worldwide, but, “Their decision to locate their Center within the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor is an example of what can happen when public entities led by the State of Ohio, private institutions, philanthropy and nonprofits collaborate.”

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