Collaborative Models Built on Partnership and Integration
The MMRF has forged a courageous and dynamic approach to the methodology of cancer research. By overcoming previous pitfalls that held the industry back, the MMRF has propelled the frontier of multiple myeloma research to a new level. Essential to this approach are 4 groundbreaking initiatives that have revolutionized the way research and drug development are conducted. With these models, the MMRF can dramatically accelerate the pace at which lifesaving and new life-altering drugs can be brought to patients.
Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC)
Founded by Kathy Giusti in 2004, the MMRC was the first clinical network that brought together leading academic centers solely dedicated to Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. Today, the MMRC leads 16 entirely integrated member institutions propelled by highly defined metrics that mandate accountability and promote team-based science—a concept previously novel to the industry. The MMRC has campaigned more than 30 trials of today’s most auspicious compounds and combinations where over 1000 patients—many of whom had run out of options—received lifesaving treatment. Notably, the MMRC began trials 60% faster and enrolled patients 10% faster than the industry standard. MMRC clinical trials currently have eight drug studies entering the last steps before FDA approval.
MMRC Tissue Bank
Launched with the MMRC in 2004, this is the first and largest multicenter, GLP-quality biobank that integrates patient tissue samples with corresponding laboratory and clinical data. The tissue bank provides researchers with an unprecedented critical mass of more than 3500 bone marrow aspirates and matched peripheral blood samples. For the first time, this allows them to conduct cutting-edge genomics studies as well as correlative science studies associated with MMRC clinical trials.
Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative (MMGI)
With the MMRC Tissue Bank serving as a cornerstone, the MMRC aligned its strategy with the Broad Institute and TGen to launch MMGI in 2006. MMGI is the world’s leading comprehensive genome-mapping methodology of its kind. Its objective is to uncover the genes and molecular pathways involved in myeloma, and to identify new targetable, vulnerable, and druggable aspects of the disease. In 2009, the MMGI took another step forward with unparalleled advancement in myeloma genome mapping and has currently mapped the genomes of 100 patients and counting. All research is channeled into a public portal prior to publication. To date, over 900 researchers across the globe have accessed this intelligence.
Multiple Myeloma Personalized Medicine Initiative
The MMRF has never stopped pursuing all outlets of innovation in racing towards the goal of eradicating multiple myeloma. One such endeavor is personalized medicine. Supported by the MMRF’s broad influence over clinical studies and the genomics industry, the Multiple Myeloma Personalized Medicine Initiative was founded in 2011. A cutting-edge program that aims to match patients with treatments customized to their individual molecular profile, the CoMMpassSM Study is an essential pillar of the Multiple Myeloma Personal Medicine Initiative. It is currently the first and largest study of its kind to focus on disease progression and response to treatment based on patients’ genomic or molecular profiles. Similar to the MMGI, data from CoMMpass will be placed prior to publication into a public portal. More importantly, academic and pharmaceutical industry partners in this initiative have given up rights to any inventions, which will undoubtedly speed the drug-discovery process. CoMMpass is now enrolling patients at community and academic centers nationwide.
Resolute in the mission to help as many patients as possible, the MMRF has shared these models with many research organizations, opening the door to great leaps in innovation to advance treatment for a multitude of cancers and other life-altering diseases.
The table below shows how our collaborative techniques have helped confront and solve specific challenges to yield significant results and new innovations in patient care.