Georgia’s diverse population, robust healthcare system, collaborative network and pro-business climate provide an ideal environment for clinical trials. Companies can shorten their recruitment period and accelerate data collection that leads to faster delivery to market. The continually growing population contributes to a vast variation of ages, ethnicities, economic backgrounds and health disparities. The state has 178 hospitals ranging across a variety of specialties including Piedmont Healthcare Systems, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Grady Hospital. The state’s logistics infrastructure and generous business incentives allow Georgia companies to concentrate on both their core business objectives and bottom-line.
Georgia’s clinical trial development focus areas include cancer, infectious diseases and regenerative medicine.
- 1 CANCER
Emory Healthcare, the leading comprehensive health system in Georgia, has a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center. Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute is a center of discovery and development of improved cancer therapies. Winship opened a Phase I Clinical Trials Unit dedicated to advancing cancer research focused on caring for patients in early-stage clinical trials.
Additional Cancer Research Centers:
- Emory – Georgia Institute of Technology Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, developing advanced new tools for cancer detection and treatment.
- Georgia Health Sciences University, a 167,000-square-foot Cancer Research Center is linked to an outpatient center overseeing Phase I and II clinical trials.
- University of Georgia’s Cancer Center has four areas of expertise – diagnostic, therapeutics, vaccines, prevention and outreach.
- Morehouse School of Medicine Cancer Research Program, conducting research to explore the mechanisms of cancer etiology, treatment and to understand ethnic differences in cancer biology.
- Mercer University School of Medicine, conducts translational research in the areas of breast, endometrial, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
- 2 INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Georgia’s infectious disease research area is leading the way in drug discovery and vaccine development for a wide array of viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. The collaboration between Emory, Georgia Research Alliance, NIH, and CDC has led to the promising HIV/AIDS vaccine discovered by GeoVax. GeoVax Labs, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing human vaccine for HIV/AIDS and other infectious agents.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, headquartered in Atlanta, is the premier public health institute in the world.
- Emory Vaccine Center and its clinical trials component, the Hope Clinic, is one of the world’s largest vaccine research centers; it conducts fundamental and translational research to conquer infectious diseases. The Center, in collaboration with the CDC and the NIH, was one of few sites selected for H1N1 vaccine clinical trials.
- Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center is dedicated to conducting essential science and translational research to advance the health of humans and nonhuman primates.
- Emory – University of Georgia Influenza Pathogenesis & Immunology Research Center, one of five national Influenza Centers of Excellence funded by NIH/NIAID.
- Georgia State University’s Viral Immunology Center conducts research on viruses that directly affect the central nervous system. The center offers high-throughput drug screening within unique, high containment laboratory suites that are classified as BSL-4.
- 3 REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
Neurological and neuromuscular clinical studies at the Shepherd Center’s Virginia C. Crawford Research Institute are conducted in collaboration with leading experts from hospitals, research centers, medical schools and universities around the world. The Shepherd Center focuses on restorative neurology and studies the recovery of residual, reorganized or regenerated neural circuitry in patients with spinal cord injury. In 2010, the center was one of seven sites in the United States chosen to enroll patients in clinical trial study on human embryonic stem cell.
Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) researchers are conducting the first controlled clinical trial to determine whether an infusion of stem cells from umbilical cord blood can improve the quality of life for children with cerebral palsy. Additionally, GHSU is researching whether the intravenous antibiotic minocycline can be a potential treatment for stroke patients. The university is leading an international study evaluating the correlation between genes and the environment among children developing type-1 diabetes. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB) specialize in replacement of tissues or growing cell-based substitutes outside the body for implantation into the body. Recently, IBB has broadened its approach from a focus on tissue engineering to one that includes repair and regeneration.
- 4 LOGISTICS
Georgia maintains a transportation and logistics infrastructure that connects life science companies to suppliers, distributors, and customers worldwide via air, ground, and ocean. The Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport has non-stop flights to 89 international cities in 55 countries. Georgia’s nine general-purpose Foreign Trade Zones across the state provide seamless transport, reducing delays, and in some cases, eliminating tariffs on imported items.
Life science companies are attracted to Georgia not only for its international and domestic reach, but also for its exceptional infrastructure for time-sensitive product delivery. Georgia has extensive perishable facilities that allow companies to quickly and efficiently ship biomedical supplies, refrigerated products, live animals, or fresh plants.