The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center for Advanced Molecular and Immunological Therapies, or CAMI, received a strong vote of support from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who designated $150 million in new funding for the Phoenix-based center.
To be located on the Phoenix Bioscience Core, CAMI will support research to catalyze the next generation of precision health care treatments. Researchers and physician-scientists are increasingly using precision medicine to develop new cell- and gene-based therapeutical options for diseases, building on the idea that the most effective defense against health issues is the body’s natural immune system.
“We are immensely thankful to Gov. Ducey for his support of CAMI,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins, MD. “Immunotherapy is the future of medicine. CAMI will allow the University of Arizona to remain on the forefront of medical research and meet the grand challenges of cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune conditions by advancing our knowledge of the immunology of these serious health issues. With the generous financial support of the state, we will accelerate the development of novel strategies for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the most devastating diseases to improve the health of all Arizonans.”
CAMI will serve as the anchor for an innovation district that aims to differentiate Phoenix from other emerging life sciences hubs, establishing the Phoenix Bioscience Core as a center of cellular and gene-based therapy research, startup activity and corporate engagement.
“It is not often that an opportunity to benefit Arizonans in such diverse ways presents itself, as it has with CAMI,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “As it grows, CAMI is poised to bring new jobs and businesses to Arizona, bolstering the economy not only in Maricopa County, but also across the state. More importantly, the research CAMI will advance and bring to fruition offers Arizona residents the hope of new treatments that will positively impact their health and well-being. My thanks to President Robbins and the University of Arizona for their dedication to building a healthier Arizona.”
“We expect CAMI to be nothing short of a national biomedical research hub.”
Michael D. Dake, MD
CAMI will build on UArizona Health Sciences’ expertise in basic science, translational medicine and investigator-initiated clinical trials to advance immunotherapies research in four areas: cancer, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases and real-time immune system monitoring. The center’s Phoenix location is expected to facilitate strong connections with partners such as Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute, among others.
“There is not a field with more explosive growth than immunotherapy. We are seeing rapid growth in research investments and increased formation of academic and industry partnerships around the world,” said Michael D. Dake, MD, senior vice president for the University of Arizona Health Sciences. “We expect CAMI to be nothing short of a national biomedical research hub, and we are incredibly grateful to Gov. Ducey for supporting that vision by investing in what will be a transformational center for Phoenix and the state of Arizona and its residents.”
In addition to the scientific and medical advances CAMI is expected to facilitate, the center also will positively impact job growth and enhance incomes and tax revenues in Maricopa County and across the state.
Economic impact estimates show a return on investment of 2.5-to-1 within 10 years, with CAMI attracting more than 150 companies to greater Phoenix and creating at least 7,500 new bioscience-related jobs and 13,000 supporting jobs. Economic activity in Arizona would increase by at least $3.9 billion, with $430 million or more in new state tax revenue and at least $140 million in local tax revenue.
The CAMI Advisory Board is comprised of more than 20 leaders in academic research, biomedical and health care industries, government organizations and corporations across the state.