The History of AAIR Research Center

April 8, 2019 2:41 pm Published by

AAIR Research Center has closed its doors after 33 years of dedicated work improving the present and future health of all people with immunologic disorders.  The Center was started in 1985 by Dr. John J. Condemi after he left the University of Rochester to start the private practice, AAIR-Allergy Asthma Immunology of Rochester, PC, treating allergic, immunologic and rheumatic disorders with Dr. Robert H. Schwartz and Dr. Donald W. Pulver.  AAIR Research Center was started as an entity within the private practice to conduct clinical trials with investigational medications to treat allergic, immunologic and rheumatic disorders.

Dr. Condemi has been interested in research his entire career and has made it an important part of his life’s work.  He started working in clinical trials in 1969 while at the University of Rochester.  He helped research the first allergy injections, even injecting himself with house dust to study the results and years later researched the first sublingual immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis.  With his dedication to finding new and innovative treatments it was a natural move to start AAIR Research Center to continue his research.  Over the next 33 years as Medical Director of AAIR Research he conducted over 450 clinical trials acting mostly as principal investigator and occasionally as sub-investigator.  In the beginning years Dr. Robert H. Schwartz was the principal investigator for pediatric clinical trials and Dr. Donald W. Pulver was the principal investigator for clinical trials in acute and chronic sinusitis.  Over the following years, the other physicians at AAIR, Dr. Robert J. Holzhauer, Dr. Peter M.G. Deane, Dr. Emmanuel A. Quaidoo, Dr. Anatole K. Kleiner, Dr. Albert S. Hartel, and Dr. Mariola B. Kubicka all assisted as either principal or sub-investigators.  Support staff consisted of mid-level providers, a research administrator, regulatory staff, research nurses and medical assistants.  Pharmaceutical companies recognized Dr. Condemi’s unique insights into the drug development process and sought him out as a consultant in the various phases of drug development.  Dr. Condemi’s consultant work helped put AAIR Research in the forefront of drug development.

AAIR, the private practice, became known as a thought leader in the community and on the leading edge of medical innovation due to the work done at the Research Center.  The Research Center helped to break medical ground with its work in clinical trials.  AAIR Research Center did work for over 80 pharmaceutical companies over the years testing medications that were eventually approved by the FDA to become available for treatment and those that did not prove efficacious enough to continue in the approval process.  Dr. Condemi was also a requested consultant for the FDA.

AAIR Research Center conducted trials in many conditions including asthma, allergies, COPD, lupus, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, knee and hip pain, chronic hives, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, immune deficiency, psoriatic arthritis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Raynaud’s Syndrome, sinusitis, chronic cough, and scleroderma.  To quote Dr. Condemi, “we go wherever the immune system goes.”

Many of the medications prescribed today to treat these conditions are a result of AAIR Research’s work on the medication’s clinical trials.  A few of these medications include:  Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, Advair, Flovent, Albuterol, Spiriva, Flonase, Singular, Azmacort, Symbicort, Pulmicort, Qvar, Atrovent, Breo, Ellipta, Combivent, Respimat, Brovana, Tudorza Pressair, Xolair, Remicade, Enbrel, Benlysta, Xeljanz, Celebrex, Orencia, Humira, Rituxan, Actemra, Grastek, Ragwitek, Kineret, Fasenra, Riquent, Patanase, Perforomist, Daliresp, Stiolto Repimat, Olumiant, Vexol, Savella, and Lyrica.

The research done by AAIR Research Center could not be accomplished without the involvement of thousands of volunteers taking part in the clinical studies.  These volunteers gave their time and energy to participate in a study.  They participated for various reasons from having nothing currently available to treat their condition, to nothing had helped them, or they just wanted to help get new and better medications on the market for future generations.  Whatever the reason, clinical trials can’t be conducted without them and AAIR Research Center is very grateful for the thousands of volunteers who passed through our doors.  We strove to give each volunteer quality, individualized care while they participated in our studies.  We met many wonderful volunteers over the years that enriched our lives and they helped enrich their own lives and those of others with their same condition.

All research conducted at the Center was monitored by the pharmaceutical company responsible for the drug being studied or by a third party hired by the pharmaceutical company to conduct the monitoring for them.  The monitors who visited AAIR Research Center were generally from out of town and flew into our airport, rented cars, took taxis, used Uber or Lyft, stayed in local hotels, ate in our restaurants, and shopped at our stores during their stay.  Their presence had a positive economic impact on our area.  Several monitors came back with family to vacation in our area to enjoy all Rochester has to offer.

AAIR Research Center has a lot to be proud of for the work it has accomplished over the years, the impact it has had on our community, and the many lives it has improved by its role in the many clinical trials it participated in.