COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In its quest to end cancer, leading non-profit, Pelotonia, today announced a landmark donation to The Ohio State University (OSU) in support of the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology (PIIO) at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). The five-year financial pledge of $102,265,000 is the largest donation in the cancer center's history. The PIIO will focus exclusively on this innovative area of research that harnesses the body's immune system to fight cancer and is redefining how cancer is prevented, detected and treated in the United States.
"Conquering cancer is one of the great challenges of our time," said Doug Ulman, Pelotonia President & CEO and three-time cancer survivor. "With 1.7 million Americans diagnosed with the disease each year, it deserves urgent attention. The recent explosion of discoveries in immuno-oncology have energized this effort and we know that momentum will build exponentially through an even bigger partnership with Ohio State. As we open the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology – backed by a dedicated community united in our mission, we are entering the next generation of cancer care – a time in which many cancers may become curable."
The PIIO is made possible by a $102,265,000 gift from Pelotonia. The total amount of the gift – $102,265,000 – is a way of paying tribute to Pelotonia's inaugural bike ride in 2009 and the 2,265 riders who participated. Since then, Pelotonia has grown into a movement that inspires meaningful collective action by mobilizing purpose-driven communities and accelerating funding for innovative cancer research.
The PIIO will be led by Zihai Li, MD, PhD, an internationally renowned authority in immuno-oncology and immunotherapy. The PIIO is being announced today at 1:30pm at the Phyllis A. Jones Legacy Park in front of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at Ohio State. The program includes remarks from OSU President Michael V. Drake, MD, Li, OSUCCC Director and surgical oncologist at the James Raphael Pollock, MD, PhD and Ulman.
"The OSUCCC – James is a pillar of strength at Ohio State and in our community," said Drake. "Through the cancer center, we conduct multi-disciplinary research spanning medicine, engineering, food science, public health and other disciplines in the health sciences. This transformative Pelotonia gift will allow for an entirely new level of collaboration, research and discovery at our university – a level only possible at a comprehensive institution like Ohio State."
"The OSUCCC – James has a long-standing track record in the promising field of immunotherapy, but there is much to discover about how this breakthrough research and treatment can benefit cancer patients," said Pollock. "Pelotonia's financial commitment and the research that will be conducted at the PIIO will allow us to make significant, new strides in immuno-oncology and fundamental discoveries for cancer survival and prevention."
The PIIO will be located initially on the 5th Floor of the Biomedical Research Tower on The Ohio State University campus. The OSUCCC – James expects to add up to 32 additional faculty over the next five years to work within the PIIO. Multi-phase laboratory renovations will take place during this time to create advanced cellular laboratory facilities, immune monitoring and discovery platforms, immunogenomics, systems immunology and other research areas for start-up initiatives and national collaborations with other academic centers and industry partners.
The PIIO will build upon current immuno-oncology efforts that are already underway at the OSUCCC – James, including the treatment of a variety of cancers with immunotherapies including: CAR-T cell therapy, cytokine therapy, monoclonal antibodies, adoptive cell transfer, vaccines and drug therapy. In addition, there are more than 40 immuno-oncology clinical trials being conducted at the OSUCCC – James.
For details about how to get involved with Pelotonia, visit www.pelotonia.org. For more information about immuno-oncology research at the OSUCCC – James, visit cancer.osu.edu/PIIO.
Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with the objective to fund life-saving cancer research. As a centerpiece of its year-round fundraising efforts, Pelotonia hosts a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. Since its founding, Pelotonia has raised over $193 million for cancer research. Thanks to its generous funding partners – American Electric Power Foundation, Huntington Bank, L Brands Foundation, Peggy and Richard Santulli, Harold C. Schott Foundation, Cardinal Health, Diamond Hill Capital Management and Nationwide – Pelotonia is able to direct 100 percent of every dollar raised by its participants to cancer research at the OSUCCC-James. For more information, visit pelotonia.org.
An electronic press kit including photos & video highlights from the press conference
will be available at www.pelotonia.org/institute within 24 hours of the event.