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The American Urological Association and Urology Care Foundation Unveil New Urology Research Program Supported by $2 Million Donation from Urovant Sciences
New Research Program Focuses on Supporting Young Scientists Underrepresented in the Field of Urology

BALTIMORE, April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Urological Association (AUA) and Urology Care Foundation today announced the launch of a program aimed at fostering diversity and inclusion in urology research, supported by a generous $2 million donation from Urovant Sciences (Urovant). A comprehensive award program, the Leadership in Education, Achievement and Diversity (LEAD) program will support three urology residents, per year, from racial and ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in urologic research, to conduct mentored research, engage in research education and be championed through networking, as they develop successful research careers and better serve the urology patient community.

This new program will leverage both the Urology Care Foundation Residency Research Award and the AUA's existing Urology Scientific Mentoring and Research Training (USMART) Academy to engage each young surgeon-scientist in additional mentoring and career development with established urology investigators who are leaders in their field.

Research training during urology residency provides residents with exposure to a research career path and experience to enable them to develop toward becoming independent investigators. Importantly, by fostering a commitment to research early in the new physician's training, strong research training during residency has the potential to address the critical and increasing shortfall of urology surgeon-scientists, especially from underrepresented backgrounds, and to play a key role in improving patients' lives.

"We are so proud of this innovative new program, which was conceived as a means for developing talented researchers of diverse backgrounds so they can be part of our next generation of urology researchers," said Harris M. Nagler, MD, president, Urology Care Foundation. "Diversity and inclusion enrich our organization, our research, our society and our ability to eliminate disparities in health care. Through the generous support of Urovant, the Urology Care Foundation will be able to provide these individuals an opportunity to build a career in research while learning from some of the most distinguished leaders in the field."

In addition to research training and mentoring opportunities, the LEAD program will:

  • Support the participation of its urology residents for two years in the AUA Research Honors Program.
  • Support the participation of its urology residents in two scientific meetings during their funding year, including the AUA Annual Meeting and another meeting of their choice, based on scientific relevance.
  • Support the participation of its urology residents in two AUA Early Career Investigator Workshops, one during their residency and one during the research year of their clinical fellowship.

"Urology researchers are at the threshold of discovering new and better treatments, as well as cures for many urologic conditions, including those related to bladder health," said Jim Robinson, president and chief executive officer, Urovant Sciences. "As a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for a range of urologic conditions, Urovant is honored to support the Urology Care Foundation's LEAD program to help enhance the diversity and intercultural relevance of urologic research by engaging residency students who reflect the racial, cultural and socioeconomic diversity of the communities they aim to serve. Our donation to the Urology Care Foundation for this initiative will support improvements toward diverse and inclusive representation in clinical research and contribute to the positive impact new discoveries will have on urology patients."

Applications for the LEAD program will be accepted starting October 2021, with more information available on the AUA and Urology Care Foundation websites. Award recipients will be announced in March 2022 and recognized at the AUA Annual Meeting in May 2022.

Learn more at: AUAnet.org/LEAD

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology and has nearly 24,000 members worldwide. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy. www.AUAnet.org.

About the Urology Care Foundation: The Urology Care Foundation is the world's leading nonprofit urological health foundation, and the official foundation of the American Urological Association. Partnering with physicians, researchers, healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers, families and the public, the Foundation supports and improves urologic clinical care by funding research, developing patient education and pursuing philanthropic support. To learn more about the Urology Care Foundation and its programs visit: www.urologyhealth.org.

About Urovant Sciences: Urovant Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for urologic conditions. The Company's lead product, GEMTESA® (vibegron), is an oral, once-daily (75 mg) small molecule beta-3 agonist approved by the U.S. FDA in December 2020 for the treatment of adult patients with overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency and urinary frequency. GEMTESA is also being evaluated for the treatment of OAB in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (OAB+BPH). The Company's second product candidate, URO-902, is a novel gene therapy being developed for patients with OAB who have failed oral pharmacologic therapy. Urovant Sciences, a subsidiary of Sumitovant Biopharma Ltd., intends to develop novel treatments for additional urologic diseases. Learn more about us at www.urovant.com.

Contact:  Christine Frey, Senior Corporate Communications and Media Relations Manager, 443-909-0839; cfrey@auanet.org

SOURCE American Urological Association and Urology Care Foundation