MMRF Launches Fund to Invest in Innovative Firms for Multiple Myeloma Research

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) has launched the Myeloma Investment Fund in an effort to attract promising biotech and technology companies to the multiple myeloma field and to advance new treatments.

The $50 million independent, self-sustaining fund is focused on accelerating the foundation’s mission to deliver precision medicine approaches to each patient by funding companies, clinical assets, and technologies.

The venture philanthropy fund also offers companies access to the organization’s relationships with pharmaceutical firms and academic medical centers, the MMRC’s clinical network of 25 sites, and the largest known genomics data set of any cancer.

The aim is to create scientific breakthroughs by directing financial support to where it can have a swift and meaningful impact on patients’ lives. Profits are recycled back into the investment fund.

According to the fund’s website, scientific progress in multiple myeloma has resulted in many patients living longer. However, it also has also crowded out some prospective investors, causing a divide between research discoveries and life-saving therapies. Development of new molecularly driven treatments, immunotherapies, and individualized approaches remains critical, the MMRF states.

”We created the Myeloma Investment Fund to leverage the MMRF’s formidable assets and advance new therapies for our patients, while generating a return to reinvest in even more research,” Paul Giusti, president and CEO of the MMRF, said in a press release.

“The fund will partner with and invest in world-class biotech companies so myeloma patients can benefit from the tremendous progress that is happening in cancer research. It is because of the generosity of our donors, our treasure trove of data, world-class clinical network, deep relationships and extensive patient engagement that we are able to bring this fund to fruition.”

The fund is intended to draw in new firms to multiple myeloma research, enabling them to continue to innovate. At the same time, the foundation is building a funding model that will enable it to keep investing in research. The Myeloma Investment Fund and the MMRF are separate entities run by separate teams.

Peter Kosa, PhD, a veteran of biomedical and immune oncology efforts, will serve as the fund’s managing director. He lauded the MMRF’s 20-year history of progress in multiple myeloma, and advanced models in both research and business.

”I am honored to work alongside them to expand our portfolio of assets and make new therapies available for patients,” he said.

A pioneer in precision medicine, the MMRF seeks to find a disease cure by pursuing innovation that accelerates development of next-generation therapies to extend patients’ lives. It has built the CoMMpass Study — the largest genomic data set for cancer — and MyDrug, the first platform trial in multiple myeloma.