Case Study: Ognomy – Disrupting Sleep Medicine

Innovation-As-A-Service: Ognomy Case Study

Check out how the Ognomy sleep apnea telemedicine wp-content went from dream to wp-content MVP in 4 months through on-demand talent. Read Topcoder’s blog on the process. Watch the Ognomy video.

When Dr. Dan Rifkin had an idea to transform the sleep medicine industry using telemedicine, he knew who to call. His company, Sleep Medicine Centers of WNY was one of the first companies to locate in the Innovation Center nearly 10 years ago, and he has known Matt Enstice, BNMC CEO, for a number of years.

“I reached out to Matt to get his feedback, and he immediately jumped into action,” said Dan Rifkin, M.D., Medical Director of Sleep Medical Centers of WNY. “I wanted to transform my business, and he gave me the tools to do so.”

Matt connected Dan to Sam Marrazzo, BNMC’s Chief Innovation Officer. Sam’s niche is helping companies – any company, regardless of industry – innovate from within.

“Our goal is to connect people with ideas to a quick but thorough process using agile innovation that can create the platform for a solution that minimizes investment and risk in the marketplace,” according to Marrazzo. “We take your domain knowledge and bring connections and ideas to move your initiative along quickly. We use novel methods to solve problems and deliver solutions at a rapid pace, allowing you to prototype prior to building a final product, saving time and money. If the idea is not going to work, we want to fail fast and move along to the next idea. Through this wp-contentroach, we are changing industries by cultivating people and ideas, much like we did with Dan and sleep apnea.”

Marrazzo pulled together an innovation team from across the country, including the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State, who helped hone in the idea and its unique business proposition, along with the UB School of Business MIS Department students and professors to help with requirements and overall implementation strategy.

He also engaged BNMC partner Topcoder, an international technology platform connecting companies to top talent. Marrazzo has worked with Topcoder for more than a decade, including bringing 200+ technology superstars to Buffalo in 2017 for its international conference. With the combination of Topcoder, UB, and BNMC’s Innovation team, we were able to develop a solution within budget and timeline that met the needs of Dan’s team.

“Within three months, we went from idea to implementation,” explained Rifkin. “It would have taken me years to get this far on my own. The connections that Sam, Matt and their team made for me are going to disrupt not only my industry, but other health disciplines as well.”

The team developed a telemedicine wp-content that incorporates practice automation and allows diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea to be done via a mobile wp-content—all in the comfort of a patient’s home. Typically, patients need to spend the night in a sleep center, hooked up to monitors in an unfamiliar room and setting. Now, with advances in diagnostic technologies, Rifkin is able to ship the equipment directly to a patient’s home and monitor them in their own environment, increasing access and ease of diagnosis.

Rifkin is now looking at other disciplines that follow similar platforms, such as cardiology, to see how they might benefit from this technology.

 

 

 

More UB Medical School Students Choose Buffalo for Their Residencies

Fifty percent more students in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have chosen a UB residency program this year than last year, according to statistics compiled on the graduates at Match Day 2013 held March 15.
Match Day is the day when medical school students around the country find out where they will do their postgraduate training, called a residency, which lasts from three to seven years, depending on the specialty chosen.

Thirty-eight out of the 150 students who make up the Class of 2013 have chosen to stay in Buffalo and do their residencies at UB, up from 24 in 2012, according to Roseanne C. Berger, MD, senior associate dean for graduate medical education.

“This is a vote of confidence in UB’s residency programs,” says Berger. “We do know that the residents have a tendency to remain in the areas where they train, so many will start their careers here, providing quality health care for our region.”

“We’re excited to see this,” agrees David A. Milling, MD, senior associate dean for student and academic affairs in the UB medical school.  “We have recruited so many new faculty and the quality of our training programs continues to improve, so students are more receptive, not only staying in Buffalo for postgraduate training, but some who leave also will return once their training is complete. The growth of the Buffalo Niagara Medical campus, including the forthcoming medical school downtown, is also attracting young physicians here.”

Seventy-three percent of the UB Class of 2013 are New York State residents. A total of 75 students, half of the class of 2013, will stay in New York State to do their training.

Ellen Goldbaum (UB); goldbaum@buffalo.edu; 716.645.4605

New Biotech Companies Move Into Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 11, 2013

For more information, contact:

Contact Kari Bonaro
kbonaro@bnmc-old.local, 716.218.7157

(BUFFALO, NY) – The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center is pleased to welcome Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) spin-off companies Tartis Aging, Inc., and OncoTartis, Inc., as its newest tenants. The companies will occupy a combined 5,700 sq. ft. of wet lab and office space on the fourth floor of the building. Approximately half of this space will be built up as the companies continue to grow in size.

OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are discovery-stage biotechnology companies seeking novel anti-cancer and anti-aging drugs. Their proprietary technologies are licensed from the laboratories of Andrei Gudkov, PhD, from RPCI.

Dr. Gudkov was recruited to Buffalo by RPCI and other local partners in 2007. He moved his research lab and his first commercial company, Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (CBLI), from the Cleveland Clinic to serve as Senior Vice President of Basic Science and Chair of the Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park.

The laboratory building at 73 High Street, shared with Cleveland BioLabs, Inc., had been the first home for both corporations. With 15 employees and a growing portfolio, the two companies have outgrown the space available on High Street but wanted to remain on the BNMC.

“We are very hwp-contenty to find space in the Innovation Center, which allows us to expand our research and at the same time continue to be close to our colleagues at CBLI and Roswell Park,” said Aleksandra Kotlyarova, Director of Operations for both companies.

“OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are perfect examples of what we need to see more of here in Buffalo,” said Patrick J. Whalen, Chief Operating Officer of the BNMC, Inc., which owns and operates the Innovation Center. “Dr. Gudkov and Cleveland BioLabs moved to the BNMC several years ago to better collaborate with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and thanks to the groundbreaking research at Roswell Park, they continue to grow and spin off companies, creating more jobs and economic-development opportunities in Buffalo as they evolve.”

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is dedicated to the cultivation of a world-class medical campus for clinical care, research, education, and entrepreneurship on 120 acres in downtown Buffalo. It is home to the region’s top clinical, research, and medical education institutions, including: the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Olmsted Center for Sight, Kaleida Health, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Unyts, and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. There are over 40 public and private companies on the BNMC. More than 12,000 people come to work at the Medical Campus every day, and BNMC institutions see over one million patients and visitors annually. The Campus has an annual economic impact of $1.5 billion on the region. The Medical Campus consists of more than 6 million square feet of research, clinical, and support space.  bnmc-old.local

About Roswell Park Cancer Institute

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

About the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center, located at 640 Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo, is a LEED-certified research and development space housing life sciences and biotech companies, as well as companies offering support services like IP attorneys, talent acquisition, sales, and marketing. This state-of-the art facility is designed to accommodate small to medium companies seeking office, wet lab and/or research space, on a month-to-month basis or via longer term leases, located in the heart of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. There are currently 40 companies located in the building.

The Innovation Center is owned and operated by the BNMC, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, their 12,000 employees, and the community; coordinates activities related to sustainable planning, development and enhancement of its 120-acre space; and works to create a distinct, innovative environment that provides opportunities for entrepreneurship and active and healthy living.

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UB Goes to Great Lengths to Recruit Top Medical Talent to Buffalo – Buffalo News Story

Buffalo News)
(Photo from The Buffalo News)

Published: 03/3/2013, 11:54 PM Updated: 03/3/2013, 11:54 PM

Buffalo News Article: The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus – and the opportunity for growth it promises – is helping UB attract some of the country’s top doctors to its medical school faculty.

BY: Jay Rey /Buffalo News Staff Reporter

Recruiting top doctors and medical researchers to Buffalo is not unlike the Bills or Sabres going after blue-chip free agents.

Buffalo may not be high on their list of destinations – or on their list at all – when bigger, warmer or more lucrative markets are out there.

Buffalo? thought Dr. Andrew Talal.

Dr. Gil Wolfe was hesitant, too.

And Dr. John Tomaszewski was sure Buffalo wasn’t for him, even before he stepped off the plane.

That’s part of the recruiting process the University at Buffalo is going through right now as it grows its School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Over the next three years, UB plans to hire more than 100 full-time medical faculty members in preparation for the 2016 opening of its new medical school, which will serve as a linchpin for an emerging Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

 

But luring smart, high-priced medical talent to the region isn’t as impossible as you might think.

If you can get them to visit – that’s the key – Buffalo can convince them it is a city on the rise and they can be a part of building something special.

“People want to be in a place that’s moving forward with a vision,” said UB President Satish Tripathi. “The way I feel is, if we are able to clearly state our vision and provide them the resources to succeed, people will come.”

“You got to get them on the airplane,” said Dr. Anne Curtis, chairwoman of the department of medicine at UB, who was recruited a few years ago. “Get them on the airplane and get them here, and then we can do OK.”

That’s why Talal, Wolfe and Tomaszewski eventually came around to Buffalo, with dozens more expected to follow.

“I began to understand that there really is a new day in town,” said Tomaszewski, who came from Philadelphia more than a year ago.

The added faculty will allow UB to increase enrollment at the medical school, from which the region gets many of its future physicians.

In addition, these newly hired doctors – who will set up practices and labs and hold positions at area hospitals – will bring some needed depth and breadth to Buffalo’s medical community, as UB targets specialists in areas where the region has a shortage.

It’s helping set the stage for a better, 21st-century health care system, where people from the region can be treated for most any condition by local doctors, said Michael Cain, vice president of health sciences and dean of the medical school.

And in a way, it serves as a reminder that Buffalo really is making progress, especially when the community’s Rust Belt image is seen through the fresh eyes of these newcomers.

“We fell in love with the city,” said Dr. Anthony Martinez, an associate professor of medicine, who moved to Buffalo from San Diego in December. “It just feels like there’s something going on here. It’s hard to describe, it’s just something you feel.”

But first, you have to get them to Buffalo.

Seeing the potential

Actually, Cain said, it hasn’t been that difficult.

“In all the recruiting I’ve done in the past six years, I’ve had no one turn us down because it was Buffalo,” Cain said.

In fact, UB landed its top choice for each of the 10 leadership positions recently filled for the medical school, Cain said.

They see the potential in Buffalo.

UB and Kaleida Health opened a state-of-the-art research building last year on Ellicott Street.

An 11-story addition to Roswell Park Cancer Institute breaks ground this year.

A new Women & Children’s Hospital is expected to open in 2016 – as is UB’s $375 million medical school.

“If you come here,” Cain tells the recruits, “you’re going to be part of a growing, expanding academic health center, and after four or five years, you will feel that you have contributed to making something better.”

It’s a vision that attracted Curtis, who came to UB in 2010 from the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she was chief of cardiology.

“People who are builders get excited about that,” Curtis said. “They see an opportunity to put their mark on something.”

Buffalo also caught the attention of Dr. Vanessa Barnabei, who had other offers but came to UB last fall from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where she was director of obstetrics and gynecology.

“When I came here, I was very impressed by the opportunity for growth that’s going on, that’s being planned and is actually going to hwp-contenten,” Barnabei said. “You never know sometimes. People make these grand plans. But here, it really does look like it’s going to move forward.”

UB has been hiring for the medical school the past few years to fill vacancies and replace retired professors. Currently, the medical school has 720 full-time faculty members.

But the university wants to increase that number to as many as 850 over the next three years, as the need to train more physicians grows around the U.S.

A combination of resources – including philanthropy and money raised from state tuition increases – will be used to finance the school’s growth.

It’s that commitment of funds to build a better medical program at UB that helped lure Wolfe, who arrived at the end of 2011. He was recruited from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas to head the department of neurology at UB.

“This was not the first chair opportunity I was offered,” Wolfe said, “but looking back and hearing what hwp-contentened in those other situations, I’m glad I’m here. The level of state support – and even community support – doesn’t match what I’ve experienced here.”

That’s not to say the initial reaction to Buffalo is always enthusiastic.

Intriguing interview

Tomaszewski was recruited from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

As he arrived in Buffalo for his first interview, the Philadelphia native remembers looking out the window of the plane and thinking: “I am not coming to Buffalo.”

But Tomaszewski’s interview was intriguing. It turned into another visit, then another. And during every conversation, another dimension he found engaging was revealed. He became chairman of the department of pathology and anatomical sciences at UB in the fall of 2011.

“Buffalo has a whole bunch of cards assembled to be a first-rate, modern health care system in the model that’s going to be successful going forward,” he said.

Talal, who was recruited from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, had a similar reaction when he received an email from the search firm.

“Who wants to go to Buffalo?” Talal thought to himself.

He promptly deleted the email.

But after being asked to speak in Buffalo, Talal learned more about what was going on at the university and the emerging medical campus. His opinion was changing.

When Talal returned to Manhattan, he reached out to the search firm. It took his daughter getting admitted to City Honors School and his wife – who is also a professor – to be recruited by UB, but Talal eventually joined the university in September as chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition.

“Buffalo is an interesting community in the sense you have a lot of very top-notch things, but they haven’t been highly publicized,” Talal said. “There’s a lot more here than the city is given credit for.”

Now the recruited have become the recruiters.

A rare opportunity

The doctors acknowledge that Buffalo can be a tough market to recruit.

It’s just enough out of the way and close enough to major metropolitan areas, where top talent would rather head, Barnabei said.

But they also believe the medical growth planned for Buffalo is a rare opportunity for faculty, especially at a time when schools around the country are trying to cut costs.

“A lot of academic medical centers in 2013 are not growing,” Curtis said. “They see health care changing. They don’t see a need for more people. They’re treading water. Their staffs are full.”

“There are good people coming out of training who want an academic career but are finding the opportunities are somewhat [more] limited than in the past,” Curtis said.

“Times are tight,” added Tomaszewski. “California is a good example. Because of its finances, it really had to downsize its state university system, so there’s a lot of faculty on the market.”

And once the prospects see Buffalo, they understand the wp-contenteal.

“I enjoy Buffalo,” Wolfe said. “I’ve become a big booster for the city. I have to be, but I can do it in a sincere fashion. There are great recreational opportunities. The arts are excellent. The restaurant scene holds its own very well in comparison to even larger cities. And the cost of living, from a real-estate standpoint, is a big bonus.”

Barnabei and Tomaszewski were struck by the friendliness of the community. He recalled moving into his office – arms full, fumbling with his access card – when a woman saw him from the third floor of the building and came down to open the door for him.

“If you keep an open mind enough to give it a chance, it’s the kind of place that the more you look the more you find,” Martinez said. “If you just give it a chance, the more it gets under your skin and grabs you.”

When Talal, his former mentor, recruited Martinez to Buffalo from the University of California, San Diego, Martinez and his wife rented a place in Elmwood Village for a week to determine if Buffalo would suit them.

Martinez, a native of Providence, R.I., and a huge hockey fan, immediately got Buffalo. He saw how the cold weather and tough economy shaped this community for the good.

“I’ve never been in a place that has such a strong sense of community. That seeps into the people and permeates out,” Martinez said. “It’s a great fit for my family and a great fit for me.”

email: jrey@buffnews.com

Roswell Park's Center for Personalized Medicine

center-personalized-medicine-press-conference.2013-01-30-35Roswell Park Cancer Institute‘s (RPCI) new 5,000-square-foot facility, the Center for Personalized Medicine (CPM), will provide individualized therapies for patients through genetic code sequencing (an analysis of genomes – the entire inherited genetic makeup of humans). Using state-of-the-art, next-generation technology, advanced research has led to the identification of unique genetic characteristics that will help determine effective and custom treatments for patients with certain diseases. Utilizing high-throughput screening for drug discovery, personal gene sequence machines and a 1,600-processor supercomputing cluster, the RPCI team will efficiently be able analyze individual genome data.
Located within RPCI’s Center for Genetics & Pharmacology, the Center will also act as a resource for scientists and medical providers to use for national clinical care wp-contentlication. In addition to having a mobile unit, the CPM is the first regional resource for next-generation gene sequencing to have met federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements.

At the end of  last year, RPCI was awarded a $5.1 million grant to begin the pilot phase of the genome project from Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council, established to promote regional economic development. Since then, RPCI has garnered an additional $18.5 million in investments to support the project. From RPCI, $16 million has been invested in equipment and infrastructure, and Computer Task Group (CTG), a Buffalo-based national leader in healthcare IT, has committed to $2.5 million. As a local and nearby partner, CTG will provide its healthcare and bioinformatics expertise to deliver personalized medicine quickly and cost-effectively. The University at Buffalo, IMMCO Diagnostics and Western New York Urology Associates LLC are additional supporters of the project.

Candace Johnson, PhD, Deputy Director of the CPM stated that “We now have the ability to do robust, ‘next-generation’ gene sequencing on blood and tissue samples, with tremendous possibilities in terms of what we can learn diagnostically, prognostically, therapeutically.” Johnson also stated that personalized medicine is the future, not just for oncology patients but for treatments across all diseases.

The CPM is a prime example of the type of support that Cuomo’s Council looks to provide for organizations throughout the region to capitalize on resources and developments that will support the local economy by creating more jobs and economic growth. Recognizing the growth hwp-contentening on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and throughout the region, Cuomo stated that “Western New York has a thriving health and life sciences industry cluster, which the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and Roswell Park Cancer Institute recognized. Through the Regional Council process, they created a custom-tailored plan to take advantage of this opportunity, which will rebuild the regional economy.”

center-personalized-medicine-press-conference-2013-01-30-34RPCI’s President and CEO, Dr. Donald Trump captured the significance of the Center’s presence. He stated that “The doors are wide open in terms of the opportunities for entrepreneurship and technology transfer that will flow from [the Center].” The CPM team, partners and supporters increase RPCI’s menu of services, giving the institution the opportunity to contend with other small circle healthcare organizations providing similar medical services.

Immediately on the agenda, the CPM will undertake its first 3 sequencing projects, clinical research studies that will:

  • Predict on a case-by-case, personalized basis which of the two main types of standard chemotherapy, anthracycline-based or platinum-based, will be most effective in treating a woman’s breast cancer, and with fewest adverse side effects;
  • Develop, in collaboration with Western New York Urology Associates, a diagnostic test for superficial bladder cancer, the ninth most common cancer in the U.S. and the most expensive of all cancers in terms of cost to treat; and
  • Engage 600 healthy volunteers representing the ethnic, racial, socioeconomic and geographic diversity of the eight-county Western New York region in an initiative to identify the particular healthcare priorities of this community, aided by a mobile tissue-collection unit that will travel to disparate and underserved areas.
  • In addition, RPCI expects to use the resources of the CPM in planning individualized care for its lung, melanoma and leukemia patients in the near future.

Read more about the CPM below:

Roswell Launches Center for Personalized Medicine

Groundbreaking Cancer Research Hwp-contentening in Buffalo

Progressive Medicine is Roswell’s Newest Venture

 

UB Medical School to Develop Tools for Cloud-Based Simulations of Patient Visits

UB is one of eight institutions in the U.S. chosen to write patient cases

The American Medical Association is providing funding to support the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and other institutions in a national consortium to develop simulated, interactive “encounters” with virtual patients to supplement the education of students in the third year of medical school.

The i-Human Patients platform is a cloud-based service for medical students that simulates a patient visit. Students use the software to interview and examine animations of patients, order and review diagnostic tests, develop diagnostic hypotheses and create a treatment plan. Online guidance and comprehensive feedback occurs at every step of the process.

Avery Ellis, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and physiology and senior associate dean for medical curriculum at UB, is one of 8 faculty members at prestigious institutions throughout the U.S., who will be working together to develop simulations for internal medicine. Ellis and Susan J. Gallagher, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at UB and director for internal medicine clerkships in the third and fourth years, will be writing cases on chest pain, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, edema, electrolyte abnormalities, syncope, dizziness and hyperlipidemia.

The new cases are expected to be completed, peer-reviewed and included in the curriculum that third-year medical students at UB experience starting in July, Ellis says.

“These very sophisticated patient simulations will round out the education of third-year medical students,” says Ellis. “For our students, working on these patient simulations, complete with actual test results and realistic clinical data, such as audible heart sounds, angiograms and ultrasound studies, is far more beneficial than just reading about the same disease in a textbook.”

The cases are being prepared by faculty at UB and at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Northwestern University, Tufts University, Rush University and Stony Brook University.

“These interactive web-based patient encounters will nicely complement the other kinds of experiences our students are getting at UB’s Behling Simulation Center,” Ellis adds.

“The American Medical Association is funding the development of medical school cases and other interactive content for the i-Human Patients educational services platform because we see a need to accelerate student training in patient assessment and diagnostic skills,” says James Madara, chief executive officer/education vice president for the AMA.

i-Human Patients Inc. is a designer and developer of “virtual” medical training products and services.

Ellen Goldbaum (UB); goldbaum@buffalo.edu; 716.645.4605

Pharmacy Opens in Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

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For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 10, 2013

For more information:
Contact Kari Bonaro
kbonaro@bnmc-old.local, 716-218-7157

Pharmacy Opens in Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Mobile Pharmacy Solutions (Formerly VascuScript) Offers Prescription Delivery Services, In-Home Visits, and More in New Location

(BUFFALO, NY) – The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center is pleased to welcome Mobile Pharmacy Solutions (MPS), a full service, brick and mortar pharmacy, locally owned and operated, as one of its newest tenants. MPS is located on the first floor of the building in 2,495 sq ft of brand new, state-of-the art space. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

While also functioning as a community drug store, MPS implements home-based services for patients including in-home pharmacist consultations, free delivery and/or mailing of prescription and over-the-counter medications, advanced courtesy refills, medication therapy management, immunizations, and specialty compounded medications. When the pharmacy is physically closed, patients still have access to an on-call pharmacist through an automated system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. MPS employs 17 team members, including six pharmacists.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Medical Campus community, and look forward to helping to meet the needs of the nearby Fruit Belt and Allentown community residents, as well as patients and employees on the Medical Campus and in the central business district,” said Dean P. Trzewieczynski, RPh., Chief Operating Officer of Mobile Pharmacy Solutions. “Working closely with our affiliates, we are able to offer unique services to our customers, beyond traditional retail pharmacies. The success of this model can be attributed to the ability of the care team to interface with other health care providers such as nurse practitioners, physicians, surgeons, physician assistants, therapists, etc. to provide a higher level of patient care.”

Formerly known as VascuScript while operating in Cheektowaga, Mobile Pharmacy Solutions is affiliated with Mobile HealthCare Connections, a collaboration of service providers delivering a wide range of innovative medical care, remote vital signs telemonitoring, in-home primary care and streamlined pharmacy services –all delivered directly to the patient’s home. The triage and clinical monitoring centers are staffed with fully trained nurses who analyze and evaluate remotely monitored patients. They provide coaching, patient support and notifications to primary caregivers in cases of readings outside established parameters.

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) is dedicated to the cultivation of a world-class medical campus for clinical care, research, education, and entrepreneurship on 120 acres in downtown Buffalo. It is home to the region’s top clinical, research, and medical education institutions, including: the University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Olmsted Center for Sight, Kaleida Health, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Unyts, and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. There are over 40 public and private companies on the BNMC. More than 12,000 people come to work at the Medical Campus every day, and BNMC institutions see over one million patients and visitors annually. The Campus has an annual economic impact of $1.5 billion on the region. The Medical Campus consists of more than 6 million square feet of research, clinical, and support space.  bnmc-old.local

About the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center, located at 640 Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo, is a LEED-certified research and development space housing life sciences and biotech companies, as well as companies offering support services like IP attorneys, talent acquisition, sales, and marketing. This state-of-the art facility is designed to accommodate small to medium companies seeking office, wet lab and/or research space, on a month-to-month basis or via longer term leases, located in the heart of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. There are currently 40 companies located in the building.

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New Vaccine Research Aims to Prevent Recurrent Ear Infections

Lab in UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center is one of few in the world studying an increasingly prevalent bacterium, once considered harmless
Children’s ear infections cause more than pain and sleepless nights; they temporarily disrupt hearing when children are at a critical age for speech and language development.  They also have major social and economic costs.

But while infants and children receive immunizations against infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae and pneumococcus, there is no vaccine against Moraxella catarrhalis, an increasingly prevalent bacterium that causes at least ten percent of otitis media cases.

Now, University at Buffalo scientists, among just a handful of researchers in the world studying this organism, have received a $1.5 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to develop a vaccine against it. The researchers are among the first tenants in UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, which opened in September on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The goal of the current research, funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, is to identify new virulence mechanisms for this understudied pathogen, identify the structure of a candidate antigen for a new vaccine and develop a new vaccine.

According to Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Microbiology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and principal investigator on the NIH grant, research on M. catarrhalis has lagged because it was originally believed to be a “commensal” or harmless bacterium. While it does cause milder cases of middle ear infections (otitis media) than other bacteria, Murphy said it is becoming more prevalent. Preliminary evidence also shows that existing ear infection vaccines are changing colonization patterns among otitis media pathogens, possibly increasing the prevalence of M. catarrhalis infections.

“Of the 15 to 20 million cases of otitis media each year in the U.S., about ten percent are recurring, causing incredible disruption for the child and the family,” explains Murphy. “When a child has the infection, the middle ear fills with fluid, a condition that can last for a month or longer. During that time, the child’s hearing is muffled, which disrupts the normal development of language and speech skills, potentially resulting in long term delays and learning problems in school.”

Recurrent ear infections also require repeated courses of antibiotics, which then contribute to the global problem of antibiotic resistance. Some children must undergo insertion of drainage tubes under general anesthesia.

“The best option would be to prevent these infections in the first place,” says Murphy.

The goal of the UB researchers is to identify M. catarrhalis antigens that are very similar among all strains so that a vaccine based on a single antigen will protect against as many strains of the bacterium as possible.

“Based on our results thus far, it looks like we will be able to identify antigens that are identical or very similar among all strains and genetic lineages,” says Murphy.

He and his colleagues are using bioinformatics to identify genes predicted to encode proteins on the surface of the organism, construct a gene chip to test which of more than 300 possible genes on the surface are identical or similar among multiple strains and then clone genes for some of the predicted proteins for testing in in vitro and mouse models.

The UB group is now testing several promising vaccine antigens that they have identified. A new vaccine could be ready for human testing in three to five years.

Murphy and his colleagues at UB are global leaders in the study of M. catarrhalis in otitis media in children and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations in adults. Their hope is that the same vaccine could be used to prevent both kinds of infections.

In addition to directing the M. catarrhalis research, Murphy directs UB’s Clinical and Translational Research Center and is senior associate dean for clinical and translational research in the UB medical school. For more than a decade, Murphy has studied how M. catarrhalis causes both otitis media in children and infections in chronic obstructive COPD in adults.

Ellen Goldbaum (UB); goldbaum@buffalo.edu; 716.645.4605

New Center of Excellence Tenant's Research to Help Treat Muscular Dystrophy

Inspired by his grandson, JB’s Duchenne muscular dystrophy diagnosis, Jeff Harvey, Tonus Therapeutics co-founder and chief financial officer, along with Frederick Sachs, University at Buffalo (UB) Distinguished Professor, Thomas Suchyna, Research Assistant Professor, and Philip Gottlieb, Research Associate Professor, all from UB’s Department of Physiology and Biophysics, partnered to develop a therapy for muscular dystrophy. Establishing Tonus Therapeutics in 2009, the group began to work together based off of initial research Sachs and his team first came across nearly 10 years ago, studying the effect of venoms on mechanosensitive ion channels.
As one of several forms of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne is the most lethal, rapidly getting worse over time causing respiratory problems in addition to severe and increased limb-muscle weakness. The absence of the dystrophin protein is due to a defective gene commonly found in males. Dystrophin helps muscle cells maintain their shape structure. Without that protein, cell membranes tear apart more easily and cause the muscle to contract abnormally. According to Sachs, when this hwp-contentens, the body “starts digesting muscle from the inside out.”

A UB spin-off company, having made the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences (CoE) its home headquarters, Tonus Therapeutics will continue its quest to develop drugs that help distribute and control the transfer of mineral substances like calcium to cells through the tiny conduits known as mechanosensitive ion channels. These channels, which Sachs co-discovered in 1983, connect the inside of a cell with its outside. Normally, in healthy cells the channels are closed, but when a cell is stretched or contorted, the channels open and let calcium and other substances into the cell.

Using GsMTx4, a peptide that scientists at UB discovered in the venom of the Chilean rose tarantula, Tonus Therapeutics will use the FDA “orphan drug” designation to move forward with the development of a therapy for muscular dystrophy. The designation of GsMTx4 comes with recognition from the government agency that the peptide is a promising method of treatment for a rare disease like muscular dystrophy. Research shows that GsMTx4 is capable of staying in the body for a long time without breaking down. This means it could be possible to deliver low doses infrequently, reducing costs for patients. The company has gathered preliminary data showing that GsMTx4 is nontoxic in mice and did not disturb heart function in mice or ferrets or isolated human heart muscle.

In November, Tonus Therapeutics licensed UB patents relating to GsMTx4 through UB’s Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (UB STOR).

Harvey stated that “Being located in a hub of research activity in Buffalo, close to other entrepreneurs and biotech startups, is important to [Tonus Therapeutics].” He also stated that “The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is extremely important to us because it provides ready contact with experienced entrepreneurs and potential clinical and commercial partners, including those within the [CoE].”

The CoE, a part of the 400,000 sq. ft. Buffalo Life Sciences Complex, houses more than 100 scientists with biological, physical and computational expertise. The CoE’s efforts aims to leverage its research resources, helping to create new technological advantages for health care and life sciences industry sectors, partnering with and supporting biomedical, research and development companies like Tonus Therapeutics. Marnie LaVigne, UB associate vice president for economic development stated that “Tonus benefits from the technological and business resources available here, and their continued growth will be an asset to Western New York’s economy.”

Prior to their move into the CoE, the Tonus team benefited from other UB resources and partnerships. Harvey is a graduate of the UB School of Management’s High-Tech Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program, and Tonus received funding through the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology (UB CAT). The Children’s Guild Foundation and the John R. Oishei Foundation have provided additional funding.

Learn more about Tonus Therapeutics below:

Pharmacy Opens on the BNMC, Serves Entire Community

Mobile Pharmacy Solutions (MPS), located in the Innovation Center at 644 Ellicott Street, is a convenient pharmacy option on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus for the entire community. The locally owned and operated pharmacy opened its doors the first week of December. True to its name, MPS operates using a distinct pharmacy care model offering over-the-counter prescription and free delivery services for Western New Yorkers right where they are. Customers can also receive prescriptions by mail. The full-service pharmacy functions as a normal drugstore and in addition to its mobile services, MPS  also provides immunizations and medical therapy management. Order by phone, online, or in-person.
The pharmacy hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Prescriptions can be ordered by phone, online, or in-person. To speak with an MPS representative, call 716.247.5300.

MPS is dedicated to helping its customers receive the best pharmaceutical care that can be administered. Complimentary compounded medications (medications tailored to each patient’s treatment needs) are created in-house and its staff of pharmacists provide scheduled in-home and virtual consultations.

Clinics for influenza vaccinations and outpatient wellness will be conducted frequently and there are certified diabetic educators on staff. When the pharmacy is closed, patients have access to an on-call pharmacist 24/7 through an automated phone system.

Through the Courtesy Care program, refills are automatically filled using a pharmacy dispensing system. When your prescription is due, you don’t even have to worry about keeping up with expiring medication dates.

Other services include:

Adherence Services
Collaborative Consultative Services
Patient Management and Outcomes Programs
Diabetes Education and Management Program, CDE
Mobile Healthcare Connections Collaborator
Ancillary Services

Helping patients save time and the hassle of having to pick-up a prescription, MPS provides same- and next-day prescription delivery to your home or workplace. The convenient delivery service gives each individual the opportunity to focus on life’s daily to-dos as they rest assured that the pharmaceutical treatments recommended are en route.

New to MPS? Begin receiving your prescription services today and receive free glucose monitoring as a new patient. MPS accepts all Medicare part D plans and most commercial insurance plans as well. MPS has a total of 17 employees, including 6 pharmacists.

Visit www.mpswny.com to learn more.

BMG is the 1st Physician's Group Outside of Northeast Ohio to Join Quality Alliance

As one of the oldest and largest multi-specialty physician groups in the state of New York, Buffalo Medical Group, P.C. is the first organization to join the Cleveland Clinic Community Physician Partnership’s Quality Alliance that is outside of northeast Ohio.
Improving the quality of care, the Quality Alliance program couples independent physicians with Cleveland Clinic physicians, aiming to implement thorough and reviewed best practices and evidence-based clinical protocols in order that the best possible care can be given to patients. Cleveland Clinic is an academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education.

The Cleveland Clinic Community Physician Partnership designed the network to bring about the improvement of the quality and consistency of clinical care; reduce costs and increase efficiency; and provide access to expertise, data and experience. The alliance meets these goals through physician-led review of patient care, physician-developed clinical protocols, mechanisms assuring adherence to those protocols, and common data collection and reports. With over 900 independent physician members, the Alliance is one of the third largest networks in the nation of its kind striving to standardize and improve the quality of care.

“Partnering with the Cleveland Clinic Community Physician Partnership and Quality Alliance is a logical extension of BMG’s commitment to providing exemplary care for our patients” said Irene S. Snow. M.D., Medical Director of the BMG.

Chief Medical Officer of Cleveland Clinic’s Community Physician Partnership & Quality Alliance, Tarek Elsawy, M.D., stated that “The Buffalo Medical Group is the right type of partner, as it has demonstrated through its highly engaged culture of quality and commitment to process improvement.”

BMG is committed to providing the best comprehensive care for patients, having achieved the highest level of recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for Patient Centered Medical Home – the first health care provider in WNY to do so. BMG has also been recognized for its care for diabetes patients by the same committee. BMG adds more than 100 primary care, specialty care and sub-specialty physicians to the program.

Division within WCHOB Department of Pediatrics Receives $1.1 M Grant

The Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo’s (WCHOB) Division of Neonatology received a grant for $1.1 M from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. A published SUPPORT report trial revealed that there is a lack of knowledge regarding oxygen supplementation, delivery and toxicity in newborn infants. The Optimal Oxygenation in Neonatal Lung Injury grant will be used to propel the research focusing on infant oxygen supplementation.
Neonatal resuscitation is necessary when an infant is asphyxiated. When an infant is born, its pulmonary circulation shifts in order to adjust to the environment outside of the womb. When that adjustment is not flawless and is met with immediate complications, the result can be a condition called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) which can be fatal.

Dr. Satyan Lakshminrusimha, the Chief of the Division of Neonatology and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo, is the grant’s principal investigator. His research  focuses on the pathophysiology of the cardio-pulmonary transition – how fetal lungs change at birth in order to breathe air – and disorders of this transition such as birth asphyxia, PPHN, retained lung liquid and respiratory distress syndrome.

The Division’s research goals are to deliver the best critical care to infants with respiratory depression at birth and reduce oxygen toxicity; to discover the optimum management of newborns with PPHN; and to further the treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a gastrointestinal disease that disproportionately affects pre-term infants.

The grant’s disbursement over a 5-year period, with $235, 523 given to the Division each year will go towards the collection of physiological data that will help to establish guidelines for optimal oxygen delivery to premature infants.

The WCHOB has the region’s only level 4 unit in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, meaning it can provide immediate trauma care that can evaluate, diagnose, and stabilize patients, also offering a degree of surgery and critical care services. The hospital is Western New York’s center for state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical care.

UB Medical School Names Chair of Gynecology and Obstetrics

News Release

UB Medical School Names Chair of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Barnabei has conducted research on postmenopausal women through the Women’s Health Initiative and other federally funded studies

[ photograph ]Dr. Barnabei will join UB’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on Oct. 1.

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Contact

Ellen Goldbaum

goldbaum@buffalo.edu

716-645-4605
twitter @egoldbaum

Release Date: July 10, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Vanessa M. Barnabei, MD, PhD, the Patrick and Margaret McMahon Endowed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, has been named the

new chair of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Barnabei (pronounced Barnaby), who also will serve as medical director of Women’s Health Services at Kaleida Health, will join UB on October 1.

The hiring of Barnabei brings to eight the number of new chairs recruited by Michael E. Cain, MD, UB vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB medical school, in the past four years. These national hires, Cain says, are a critical piece of his strategic vision for the medical school’s future.

According to Cain, Barnabei rapidly emerged as the top candidate following a comprehensive national search, possessing all the skills needed to advance the UB department and expand its basic and clinical research programs in service of UB’s 2020 strategic goals. Under Barnabei, Cain says, the department will enhance the excellence of its graduate medical education and mentored research training programs. She will help develop and align a comprehensive clinical program at Great Lakes Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and the community.

Barnabei has been an investigator on some of the most important clinical trials examining the effects of hormone therapy on postmenopausal women, including the Women’s Health Initiative, the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) and the Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions (PEPI) trial. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and industry. Her early research focused on the genetics of the X chromosome as well as perinatal genetics.

Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Barnabei also is a certified menopause clinician. She provides obstetrical care in the low-risk setting and manages the gynecological care of women of all ages, with expertise in the care of the midlife woman and vulvar disorders.

Barnabei has held leadership positions at both George Washington University and The Medical College of Wisconsin in areas of women’s health and menopause. In recent years, she has been involved in hospital- and community-based activities aimed at lowering the infant mortality rate in inner-city African American children.

A native of Vineland, New Jersey, Barnabei received her PhD in biology and her MD from the University of Virginia. She did her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago. She served as an assistant professor and associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at George Washington University in Washington, DC. In 2010, Barnabei received the Outstanding Faculty Award from The Medical College of Wisconsin. She holds leadership positions in the North American Menopause Society and the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving cancer treatment by developing monoclonal antibodies and other agents that target the biologic pathways critical to tumor initiating cells, also known as “cancer stem cells”. OncoMed is leveraging our understanding of these tumor initiating cells to discover and develop novel therapeutics that could provide important alternatives for the treatment of cancer.
Website: www.oncomed.com

 

Immco Diagnostics

Immco Diagnostics develops and distributes autoimmune disease diagnostics and reagents to labs worldwide. Immco offers laboratory testing of autoimmune diseases for the US healthcare market. Its contract research organization supports clinical research trials for pharmaceutical and biotech clients.
Immco assay development led to the first immunofluorescence assay for diagnosing celiac disease and the first Western blot assay for autoimmune hearing loss. The new line of Immco enhanced ELISA assays provides standardized calibration systems, an industry first. Immco is continually expanding its product offering.

Immco’s principal mission is to provide the total solution in autoimmunity™.

Website: www.immcodiagnostics.com

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