Riney Foundation’s $40M Gift to Further Research at Dana-Farber

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation continues to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in its efforts to advance multiple myeloma research, this time with a $40 million grant.

This gift — the largest single award to myeloma research in Dana-Farber’s history — brings the foundation’s donations to the institute to nearly $60 million.

“The path to developing new treatments for multiple myeloma is through rigorous research,” Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber, said in a press release.

“The most effective way to spur that research is in supporting the scientists doing the complex work,” Glimcher said. “The Riney family are generous and stalwart supporters, and through this grant and their previous support they continue to make a profound impact on scientific discovery and clinical care. Their leadership will help patients at Dana-Farber and around the world.”

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This latest Riney Foundation contribution builds upon ongoing Dana-Farber work and will further studies aimed at addressing complex challenges in myeloma research and patient care.

Specifically, the grant will support preclinical studies to identify new treatment targets and therapies, including those that are immune based; fund clinical trials to evaluate novel myeloma treatments that might improve patient outcomes; and support the sharing of myeloma Dana-Farber labs for greater cohesion and collaboration among research team members.

Research efforts will be led by Ken Anderson, MD, program director at Dana-Farber’s Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center, in partnership with Nikhil Munshi, MD, the center’s director of basic and correlative science. The grant will also support clinical studies led by Paul Richardson, MD, the center’s clinical program leader and clinical research director.

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to Paula and Rodger Riney for their unprecedented support of our research to develop novel treatments for multiple myeloma,” Anderson said. “This very generous grant will fast forward our translation of basic discoveries to clinical trials, ultimately providing innovative treatments for patients and their families.”

The foundation gave Dana-Farber $16.5 million in 2019 to establish the Riney Family Multiple Myeloma Initiative. This initiative has led to groundbreaking research into the development of therapeutic antibodies for myeloma patients, clinical studies that demonstrate the therapeutic effects of CAR T-cell therapy in myeloma, and work toward potential treatments that take advantage of the unique vulnerabilities of multiple myeloma cells.

Foundation gifts totaling $2.6 million also established the Riney Family Fund For COVID-19 and Multiple Myeloma Research at Dana-Farber.

“My own journey as a myeloma patient — and knowing how many others are also living with this disease — has led us to seek out the individuals, teams, and organizations that are on the leading edge of research,” said Rodger Riney.

“There is no time to waste in the pursuit of better understanding, treatment, and cures. My family and I feel grateful to be able to support … teams at Dana-Farber who are making incredible inroads,” he added. “We hope this gift will inspire others to also support the tremendous work happening every day in Dana-Farber’s labs and clinics.”