Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has announced a ten-year, $100 million research partnership with Centene Corp., a multinational healthcare services enterprise.
With a focus on Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity, the funding will launch the ARCH Personalized Medicine Initiative, a joint venture between the medical school and Centene aimed at commercializing innovations in disease treatment and prevention developed through the school's existing Personalized Medicine Initiative.
To that end, the investment will leverage the university's research and biomedical capabilities as well as its expertise in the microbiome, immunomodulatory therapies, cancer genomics, neurodegeneration, cellular reprogramming, chemical biology, and informatics, and will strengthen resources at more than a dozen medical school centers and institutes, including the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, the Elizabeth H. and James S. McDonnell III Genome Institute, the Institute for Informatics, and the Center of Regenerative Medicine.
"We will be bringing together world-class resources and intellectual horsepower from every basic and clinical scientific discipline to urgently accelerate the timeline for developing therapies that are more precisely targeted, with aspirations to do so within the next five to seven years," said David H. Perlmutter, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George and Carol Bauer Dean, and the Spencer T. and Ann. W. Olin Distinguished Professor at the School of Medicine. "I believe the most important advances that will evolve from the personalized medicine paradigm will come from harnessing genome engineering technologies to build better model systems of each human disease, and utilizing deep genomic and clinical characterization to enable more effective and less expensive clinical trials."
"We share the goal of helping to improve the health of our communities through research, education, and customized treatment for people suffering from chronic illnesses," said Centene chair and CEO Michael F. Neidorff. "We believe personalized medicine is the path to ensure patients get the targeted health care they need to fight disease, and we look forward to partnering with such a renowned medical school to initially focus on four diseases that impact millions of Americans, including many of our health plan members."