Section 381.855, Florida Statutes 2009
381.855 Florida Center for Universal Research to Eradicate Disease.--
(1) The Legislature finds that an estimated 128 million Americans suffer from acute, chronic, and degenerative diseases and that biomedical research is the key to finding cures for these diseases that negatively affect all Floridians. The Legislature further finds that, while there is much research being conducted throughout this state and throughout the world, there is a lack of coordination of efforts among researchers. The Legislature, therefore, finds that there is a significant need for a coordinated effort if the goal of curing disease is to be achieved. Moreover, the Legislature finds that the biomedical technology sector meets the criteria of a high-impact sector, pursuant to s. 288.108, having a high importance to this state's economy with a significant potential for growth and contribution to our universities and quality of life.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that Florida strive to become the nation's leader in biomedical research and commit itself to being the state to find cures for the most deadly and widespread diseases. It is further the intent of the Legislature that there be a coordinated effort among the state's public and private universities and the biomedical industry to discover such cures. Moreover, it is the intent of the Legislature to expand the state economy by attracting biomedical researchers and research companies to this state.
(3) There is established within the Department of Health the Florida Center for Universal Research to Eradicate Disease, which shall be known as "CURED."
(a) The purpose of the center is to coordinate, improve, expand, and monitor all biomedical research programs within the state, facilitate funding opportunities, and foster improved technology transfer of research findings into clinical trials and widespread public use.
(b) The goal of the center is to find cures for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease.
(c) The center shall hold an annual biomedical technology summit in Florida to which biomedical researchers, biomedical technology companies, business incubators, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and others around the nation and world are invited to share biomedical research findings in order to expedite the discovery of cures. Summit attendees shall cover the costs of such attendance or obtain sponsorship for such attendance.
(d) The center shall encourage clinical trials in this state on research that holds promise of curing a disease or condition. The center shall facilitate partnerships between researchers, treating physicians, and community hospitals for the purpose of sharing new techniques and new research findings, as well as coordinating voluntary donations to ensure an adequate supply of adult stem cells, placentas, or cord blood.
(e) The center shall facilitate the formation of partnerships between researchers in this state and institutions in other states and countries where research with rare plants or animals could lead to cures.
(f) The center shall encourage agricultural colleges and agricultural businesses in this state to be active in the search for cures and in providing information to the public about disease prevention.
(g) The center shall facilitate partnerships among researchers working to cure all types of diseases, including those that are prevalent in developed countries and those that occur mainly in developing countries.
(h) The center shall also encourage the discovery and production in Florida of vaccines that prevent disease.
(i) The center shall monitor the supply and demand needs of researchers relating to stem cell research and other types of human tissue research. If the center determines that there is a need for increased donation of human tissue, it shall notify hospitals licensed pursuant to chapter 395 which have entered into partnership agreements with research institutes conducting stem cell research located in the same geographic region as the researchers demanding the stem cells or other tissues. Such hospitals shall implement programs that encourage voluntary donations of cord blood or other needed adult tissue.
(j) The center shall be funded through private, state, and federal sources.
(k) The center shall serve as a registry of all known opportunities for biomedical grants and may assist any public or private biomedical research program in this state in preparing grant requests.
(l) The center shall maintain a website with links to peer-reviewed biomedical research. The website shall also contain a list of all known biomedical research being conducted in Florida and shall facilitate communication among researchers and other interested parties.
(m) The center shall submit an annual report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than January 15 which contains recommendations for legislative change necessary to foster a positive climate for biomedical research in this state.
(4) The Department of Health may outsource the duties of the center to a private entity or state university.
(5) There is established within the center an advisory council that shall meet at least annually.
(a) The council shall consist of one representative from a Florida not-for-profit institution engaged in basic and clinical biomedical research and education which receives more than $10 million in annual grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, to be appointed by the State Surgeon General from a different institution each term, and one representative from and appointed by each of the following entities:
1. Enterprise Florida, Inc.
3. The Biomedical Research Advisory Council.
4. The Florida Medical Foundation.
5. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
6. The Florida Cancer Council.
7. The American Cancer Society, Florida Division, Inc.
8. The American Heart Association.
9. The American Lung Association of Florida.
10. The American Diabetes Association, South Coastal Region.
11. The Alzheimer's Association.
12. The Epilepsy Foundation.
13. The National Parkinson Foundation.
14. The Florida Public Health Institute, Inc.
15. The Florida Research Consortium.
(b) Members of the council shall serve without compensation, and each organization represented shall cover all expenses of its representative.
(6) Members shall be appointed to 4-year terms of office. The members of the advisory council shall annually elect a chair from among the members of the advisory council. Any vacancy on the advisory council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(7) The advisory council shall meet at least annually, but may meet as often as it deems necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities. The advisory council may take official action by a majority vote of the members present at any meeting at which a quorum is present.
History.--s. 6, ch. 2004-2; s. 5, ch. 2006-182; s. 26, ch. 2008-6; s. 2, ch. 2009-161.