A group of health care systems, institutions of higher education and others have united to launch the Virginia Coordinated Clinical Research Network, or VCCRN.
Participating organizations include Carilion Clinic, Eastern Virginia Medical School, George Mason University, Inova Health System, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, Sentara Health, the University of Virginia, Virginia Bio, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, Virginia Tech and William & Mary.
The VCCRN will facilitate relationships between these organizations and others across the Commonwealth to create a statewide network for research and clinical trials.
“The Virginia Coordinated Clinical Research Network marks a transformative step for our state’s health care landscape,” said Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary John Littel. “Through collaboration with renowned institutions, we are positioned to unlock the full potential of clinical research in Virginia. I look forward to seeing the ways this initiative will make Virginia best-in-class.”
The VCCRN was established with support from the Virginia General Assembly. Its mission is to strengthen collaboration among clinical, academic and biotechnology and life sciences organizations to accelerate clinical research and trials across the Commonwealth to address health disparities, improve outcomes and support economic growth.
Virginia is home to more than 1,400 life sciences companies. The sector contributes $8 billion to the state economy and employs more than 26,500 people.
“Investment in collaborative research opportunities will be an economic driver to the Commonwealth, attracting additional life sciences innovation and commercialization and providing patients with access to new treatments and cures,” said Virginia Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Jason El Koubi. “We look forward to supporting the Virginia Coordinated Clinical Research Network’s groundbreaking work.”
Some examples of academic research in Virginia include the study of MRI-guided focused ultrasound to use sound waves on the brain to address Parkinson’s disease symptoms, the development of an artificial pancreas system to support diabetes patients, Remdesivir antiviral drug trials to support treatment for COVID-19 patients and the study of gut microbe transplantation as a means to combat alcohol addiction.
“Virginia’s hospitals and health systems are excited to support groundbreaking clinical research to develop next generation treatments for disease and infirmity,” said Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “Strengthening collaboration between hospitals and our bioscience partners through the Virginia Coordinated Clinical Research Network is an opportunity to put Virginia at the forefront of cutting-edge medicine that improves lives and patient outcomes.”