Sean Parker, billionaire technology whiz and creator of the Parker Foundation, recently announced that he would be donating $250 million in grant money to six leading research centers – including the University of Pennsylvania – in an effort to accelerate the development of revolutionary cancer treatments. The Parker Foundation for Cancer Immunotherapy prioritizes the sharing of data and new discoveries that could lead to new breakthroughs in immunotherapy.
According to Penn oncologist Robert Vonderheide, each of the six cancer centers that received the grant money signed an agreement that addresses intellectual property management. Through this collaborative approach, the Parker Institute will play an important role in getting new treatment options to the marketplace more quickly and efficiently. Parker said that the creation of this kind of funding and research model could help avoid some of the common pitfalls that prevent major breakthroughs in cancer research.
The funding that Penn received will go towards top-notch researchers, laboratory studies and clinical trials in immunotherapy, of which there are currently 80 underway. While the concept of immunotherapy has been a hot topic in oncology for some time, little progress had been made until recently. James Allison, immunologist from the University of Texas MC Anderson Cancer Center, discovered a process that involves removing an immune system brake that cancer cells can take advantage of, thereby avoiding an attack by these cells. These checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for metastatic melanoma, and both lung and kidney cancers, with other potential uses still in the pipeline for approval.
Penn researcher Carl June and his team have achieved lasting remissions in certain blood cancers through another approach, which involved genetically engineered T cells that are able to recognize and kill cancer cells. While still in the clinical development phase, this approach has not yet been successful in solid tumor cancers.
The $250 million grant, which is the largest single contribution ever made towards immunotherapy, unites six of the leading trailblazers in the field of immunotherapy, including the University of Pennsylvania, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California – Los Angeles, the University of California – San Francisco, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Support Cancer Research and Survivors
Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law recognize the importance of this collaborative effort in cancer research, particularly as it affects those suffering from mesothelioma. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, call us at 1-877-SHEIN-LAW (743-4652) or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We will discuss your options and fight for you to receive the financial compensation you deserve.