NORWALK, Conn., April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that it is launching the Myeloma Investment Fund dedicated to advancing new therapies for patients. The Fund, which leverages the MMRF's assets and expertise, is an independent, self-sustaining vehicle, and is the first and largest fund specifically focused in multiple myeloma. The MMRF is building upon its leadership in genomics to leverage opportunities in immunology and further its mission to deliver precision medicine approaches to every patient.
Multiple myeloma is a highly heterogenous disease that requires a multitude of drugs to effectively treat every patient. Given the urgency for new targeted treatments, the Myeloma Investment Fund will invest in the most promising companies, immunotherapy clinical assets and technologies, with the goal of creating a self-sustaining entity that will re-invest returns to support further myeloma research, decrease a reliance on philanthropy and maximize donor gifts.
"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. 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," said Paul Giusti, President and CEO of the MMRF. "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 investment fund is led by recently hired Managing Director, Peter Kosa, Ph.D., MBA. Dr. Kosa brings over 20 years of biomedical and immune oncology experience. Prior to joining the MMRF, he was a Senior Director of Business Development at bluebird bio, where he led key strategic transactions in co-development and in-licensing partnerships focused on gene therapy and immune oncology space; and out-licensing partnering negotiations around gene editing and gene therapy platform technologies.
"The MMRF is an incredibly well-respected third-party organization, with a 20-year history of unparalleled progress in multiple myeloma and advanced models in both research and business," said Dr. Kosa. "I am honored to work alongside them to expand our portfolio of assets and make new therapies available for patients."
Dr. Kosa will join the investment fund's board of directors of seven members, four of which also serve on the MMRF board. This includes Dana LaForge, Partner at Brera Capital Partners, LLC, Thomas Conheeney, Retired President of SAC Capital, Hugh Martin, President and CEO of Lacuna Technologies, and William McKiernan, President of WSM Capital, LLC.
The Harvard Business School Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, which advances high-priority opportunities in precision medicine, played a critical role in informing the development and structure of the Fund.
About the Myeloma Investment Fund
The Myeloma Investment Fund is a venture philanthropy fund that advances the science and accelerates novel therapies and diagnostics to ensure that multiple myeloma patients get access to the best new targets and technologies. Founded by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the fund is a $50 million fund. This self-sustaining fund will invest in seed, early-stage or series A funding for emerging biotech companies and/or asset management companies. For more information, visit MyelomaInvestmentFund.org.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
A pioneer in precision medicine, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) seeks to find a cure for multiple myeloma by relentlessly 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, launching over 70 clinical trials and leading to 10 FDA-approved drugs. Together with its partners, the MMRF has created the only end-to-end solution in precision medicine. With this, the MMRF, a pioneer in precision medicine, continues to disrupt the industry today, building CoMMpass Study, the single largest genomic dataset for any cancer, and launching MyDRUG, the first platform trial in multiple myeloma. Since its inception, the organization has collected over 4,000 samples and tissues in its database, which is shared among 22 academic institutions. The MMRF has raised over $400 million and directs nearly 90% of the total funds to research and related programs. To learn more, visit www.themmrf.org.
Anne Quinn Young, MPH
Chief Marketing and Development Officer
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
SOURCE Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)