The Ignite Institute is a new non-profit institute based in the National Capital region. Ignite is one of the first entities to fully integrate biomedical research, development, commercialization, all integrated into a hospital and healthcare network. In November 2009, Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine announced a $200 million commitment from the State and its partners to support the venture, and the state legislature passed the bill this week.
Genomic researcher and Ignite Founder and CEO, Dietrich Stephan, Ph.D., co-founder of Navigenics, serves as Executive Director of the Translational and Personalized Medicine Center at the Inova Hospital System. The Inova partnership, which includes a $25 million funding commitment from one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest health care systems, is the cornerstone of the collaborative venture. “Chronic diseases such as cancer, neurological and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are placing a crushing burden on our health care system,” said Dr. Stephan. “The clinical application of personalized medicine, based on the aggressive translation of new discoveries, will have a major impact in reducing or eliminating these burdens. Our vision is a world where the lives of patients and their families are improved, and we see more efficient and effective health outcomes across the entire population. We created Ignite to demonstrate this impact here in the national capital region.” Among other things, the Ignite Institute will purchase 100 of Applied Biosystems’ newest version of the SOLiD next-generation sequencing system.
The Institute will focus on Personal Genomics in the hospital setting, following examples such as the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, Intermountain Healthcare, and the Partners HealthCare System at the Harvard teaching hospitals. “The foundation for the Institute is a commitment to an HIT network that can provide Clinical Decision Support for personalized medicine”, said Geoff Brown, CIO of Inova Health.