Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) announced today that it is the recipient of a $1 million Innovation Fund, endowed by the nonprofit foundation Additional Ventures. In receiving this funding, CHOP will join four other research institutions in a large-scale, coordinated research effort to develop breakthrough treatments for patients with single ventricle heart defects (SVDs).
Single ventricle heart defects are rare and incurable, affecting about 5 in 100,000 newborns each year, and are among the most challenging and costliest conditions to treat. In collaboration with other award recipients, CHOP will focus on cutting-edge research to better understand the root causes of SVDs and develop functional cures for those living with the condition.
“This joint initiative will fuel breakthrough research that will meaningfully improve the lives of children born with single ventricle heart defects,” said Bryan Wolf, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at CHOP. “We look forward to collaborating with these other institutions and continuing the cutting-edge research that has put our Cardiac Center at the forefront of pediatric cardiac care.”
Single ventricle heart defects are fatal without surgery and require multiple open-heart surgical procedures, a technique pioneered at CHOP and now utilized worldwide. As one of the largest and most established pediatric cardiac programs in the world, CHOP’s Cardiac Center has received international recognition for its treatment of SVDs, and CHOP researchers continue to search for ways to improve outcomes, including using an oral drug to increase exercise capacity in teens with SVDs.
“No one lab can overcome the complex challenges of SVDs alone,” said Kirstie Keller, PhD, Director of Scientific Programs at Additional Ventures. “These five Innovation Funds will provide a network of labs to collectively tackle these challenges. With rapid advances in areas like genomics, single-cell technologies and tissue engineering, now is the time to coordinate efforts to accelerate progress.”