March 15, 2013


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (March 15, 2013) - The Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI Florida™) signed Affiliation Agreements today with two of the region’s leading healthcare systems, Martin Health System and Jupiter Medical Center, to move forward with the beginnings of a new clinical trial consortium in South Florida. 

In signing the Affiliation Agreements with both hospitals, VGTI Florida has honored part of their commitment to the Florida Innovation Incentive Fund, which assisted in funding of their new state-of-the-art facility. 

“The three of us taking the first steps in this clinical trial consortium is a great example of medical and research institutions working together to give back to our community in the form of better and more personalized health care,” says Mel Rothberg, Chief Operating Officer at VGTI Florida.  “Moving forward we hope to expand our clinical trial activities and see this consortium grow to include other Florida regional hospitals.”

The establishment of the clinical trial consortium was celebrated at VGTI Florida’s facility at the Tradition Center for Innovation in Port St. Lucie with an Agreement signing ceremony.  Community leaders and representatives from all three organizations gathered to view the signing of the Agreements and enjoyed a luncheon following the ceremony.

This clinical trial consortium brings us closer to achieving our translational research goals and in doing so we pursue the opportunities to engage our regional colleagues and the community in our collective research efforts,” says Dr. Rafick Pierre-Sékaly, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Director at VGTI Florida.

“Jupiter Medical Center is proud to be a part of this collaboration. This clinical trial consortium is a great illustration of how biosciences were intended to act as a galvanizing force in Florida, spreading a knowledge-based economy throughout our region,” said John D. Couris, President and CEO of Jupiter Medical Center. “By creating this inclusive partnership, everybody wins – the scientists, the hospitals, and most importantly, the communities in which we serve.”

Participation in this consortium is a strong movement forward into furthering South Florida’s positive reputation in the research and medical fields.  VGTI Florida has hired a Medical Director to work with the Business Development group in attracting interest in sponsors and to oversee operations within the clinical trial consortium.

“Having facilitated access to Martin Health System’s and Jupiter Medical Center’s established clinical trial physicianss and experience will help us bring life-saving and preventative therapies to the world more quickly, ” says Dr. Jay Nelson, Founder and VP of VGTI Florida.

“Collaboration is critical to ensure successful outcomes in clinical research, and this partnership will help pave the way to future scientific achievements,” said Mark E. Robitaille, president and chief executive officer of Martin Health. “This is an exciting opportunity to continue building the future of research in our region, while helping to change the way medicine is being delivered for years to come.”

About VGTI Florida
VGTI Florida is an immunological research institute that is on an urgent mission to transform scientific discoveries into novel treatments and cures for existing and emerging infectious diseases, influenza and cancer.  VGTI Florida is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization located in the Tradition Center for Innovation in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  For more information, please visit  VGTI Florida™ is a Trademark of the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida.

About Jupiter Medical Center
A not-for-profit 283-bed regional medical center consisting of 163 private acute care hospital beds and 120 long-term care, sub-acute rehabilitation and Hospice beds, Jupiter Medical Center provides a broad range of services with specialty concentrations in oncology, imaging, orthopedics & spine, digestive health, emergency services, lung & thoracic, women’s health, weight management and men’s health. Founded in 1979, the medical center has approximately 1,500 team members, 520 physicians and 700 volunteers. Jupiter Medical Center is the recipient of the HealthGrades ‘America’s 50 Best’ Award™ for three years in a row (2011-2013) and the Distinguished Hospital Award - Clinical Excellence™ for nine years in a row (2005-2013). For more information on Jupiter Medical Center, please call (561) 263-2234 or visit

About Martin Health System
Martin Health System is a not-for-profit, community-based health care organization that has served the region for more than 70 years. It offers a continuum of care including preventive, primary and acute hospital care, as well as cancer and cardiac care, wellness and rehabilitation services. Its approximately 3,000 associates, 375 affiliated physicians and more than 850 volunteers provide care at 12 different locations serving Martin and St. Lucie counties. Martin Health is an eight-time winner of the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals Award, has twice been named a Thomson Reuters 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals award winner, and received designation as a National Employer of Choice designee for 2009 and 2010-11. To learn more, visit

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Press ReleasesPR 2013