New AFIRM Cooperative Agreement Focuses on Regenerative, Therapeutic Technologies



The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM): Warrior Restoration Consortium, under the Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center), entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Medical Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

The AFIRM II program will focus on five key areas: extremity regeneration, craniomaxillofacial regeneration, skin regeneration, composite tissue allotransplantation and immunomodulation, and genitourinary/lower abdomen reconstruction. Therapies developed by the AFIRM II program are intended to aid traumatically injured service members and civilians. The goals of the program are to fund basic through translational regenerative medicine research, and to position promising technologies and therapeutic/restorative practices for entrance into human clinical trials.

"When warriors come back from the battlefield with serious life-changing injuries, it is our job to find new and innovative ways to help them. Ultimately, we’d like to create new treatments to repair these severe injuries as if they never happened," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Caravalho Jr., commanding general of USAMRMC Command and Fort Detrick. "The science of regenerative medicine is one of the ways we fulfill our promise to service members who put themselves in harm’s way, that we will work our hardest and do our very best to take care of them."

The original AFIRM cooperative agreements, awarded in 2008, focused on limb repair, craniofacial repair, burn repair, scarless wound repair, and compartment syndrome. Research under the AFIRM was conducted through two independent research consortia working with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. One research consortium was led by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and the Cleveland Clinic (Rutgers-Cleveland Clinic Consortium), while the other was led by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh (Wake Forest - Pittsburgh Consortium).

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