UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic and Philips Image-Guided Therapy Strategically Partner with UCI Beall Applied Innovation to Accelerate Cardiovascular Research

Photo by: Laurel Hungerford

Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of mortality in the world responsible for up to one-third of all deaths globally in recent years. What is even more concerning is the steady rise in the prevalence of heart and vascular disorders, such that the impact on the public health system and the associated cost burden is becoming harder to sustain as the population ages. However, with the need to find new cost-effective treatments at an all-time high, access to and maintenance of a high-quality infrastructure dedicated to cardiovascular research is difficult to come by for university investigators. Likewise, the lead time to specialized testing and advanced disease models for medical device manufacturers is equally challenging.  Often, this delays the time to market and increases research and development expenditures for new device products and solutions in the interventional vascular space.

To solve this barrier for both university investigators studying heart disease and the life science engineers looking to translate benchtop research to the patient bedside, Dr. David Chalyan, director of clinical development at Philips Image-Guided Therapy Devices in San Diego, and Dr. Thomas Milner, director of UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, envision a state-of-the art interventional facility.  This facility provides robust access to university and industry scientists who are developing new cures for cardiovascular disease. To create the appropriate regulatory framework for this Public Private Partnership (PPP), Milner and Chalyan collaborated with another Southern California native, David Gibbons, director of industry sponsored research at UCI Beall Applied Innovation, for his guidance on the government and private sector agreement.

Remarkable progress has followed, resulting in the acquisition of a significant grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the successful execution of advanced medical laser and Intravascular Imaging (IVI) studies. These studies offer novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for vascular disease patients. As co-investigators on this research, Chalyan and Milner kicked off a translational research seminar bringing world-renowned cardiologists, radiologists, and vascular surgeons to UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic for lectures and hands-on medical training sessions.

“Within the first month of the study, the laboratory has already met its annual goals, thanks to Joel Haaf and Brandon Scanlon from the Philips Heart Rhythm Management division,” said Chalyan. “We have also received cross-industry and cross-department interest from Dr. Naomi Chesler, the director at Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology, and Dr. Mahmood Razavi, the director of Clinical Trials and Research Centers at St. Joseph Vascular Institute.”

With strong support from UCI and Philips leadership, Chalyan, Milner and Gibbons are actively working on the next phase of the long-term partnership.

“The upcoming benchmark includes bringing the latest Philips fully-integrated Azurion bi-plane with IntraSight7 interventional platform and GLP-compliant operation to further expand on the capabilities and throughput of vascular studies at the Institute,” said Dr. Milner. “We remain committed to the overarching goal of improving medical device safety and accelerating innovation for cardiovascular disease patients in Orange County, California.”