Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Announces $15 Million Investment in Immunotherapy Initiative

Initiative will accelerate immunotherapy with collaborative MMRF Immunotherapy Networks of Excellence

Norwalk, Conn., June 29, 2017 – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that it is investing $15 million over the next three years to launch its Immunotherapy Initiative. The Initiative is an effort to fund the many urgent needs and areas of potential in immunotherapy.

To launch the first phase of the Initiative, the MMRF will disseminate a request for applications to researchers worldwide working in cancer immunology and will select those with the greatest promise to produce results quickly. This first phase will bring together researchers from different institutions and laboratories to form collaborative Networks of Excellence in immunotherapy, which will focus on data generation and hypothesis testing. The second phase of the Initiative will be used to move the findings into the clinic in the form of novel immune clinical trials. Long-term goals of the Networks include predicting responses to different types of immune agents including antibody and cell-based therapies and ultimately identifying novel combination immune therapies for clinical trials.

“Immunotherapy has transformed outcomes for patients with many kinds of cancers that previously had few effective options,” said the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Giusti. “There is a significant opportunity to improve the efficacy of these immune agents and identify patients more likely to respond to specific immune approaches, and by applying our unique precision medicine model, we’re confident we’ll put the promise of a cure within reach.”

The MMRF Model is the only end-to-end system to accelerate precision medicine in cancer. It is based on three interrelated pillars: The Data Bank, The Learning Network, and The Clinic, and involves building large datasets, developing and testing hypotheses and moving the findings rapidly into the clinic. The Foundation engages the best science and technology partners to accelerate development of treatments for patients as quickly as possible with
increasing momentum towards a cure.

The MMRF convened leading cancer immunology experts from academia, the pharmaceutical industry, and government to identify the areas of greatest potential and urgent need in immunotherapy in order to determine the Initiative’s areas of focus: provide standardized immune testing to pre-select patients most likely to benefit from specific immune treatments, identify resistance mechanisms to current immunotherapeutic approaches, and to rapidly accelerate promising combinations of immunotherapies for the treatment of myeloma.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

The mission of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is to find a cure for multiple myeloma by relentless pursuing innovation that accelerates the development of next-generation treatments to extend the lives of patients. Founded in 1998 by Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient, and her twin sister Karen Andrews as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, the MMRF is a world-recognized leader in cancer research. Together with its
partners, the MMRF has created the only end-to-end solution in precision medicine and the single largest genomic dataset in all cancers. The MMRF continues to disrupt the industry today, as a pioneer and leader at the helm of new research efforts. Since its inception, the organization has raised over $350 million and directs nearly 90% of the total funds to research and related programs. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded by Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 12 years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency.

About Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 30,000 adults will be diagnosed this year and 12,500 people are predicted to die from the disease.


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Media Contact
Anne Quinn Young
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation