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Foundation Launches Investment Fund to Speed Multiple Myeloma Treatments

AJMC Staff
 The investment fund spun off from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation will start at $50 million and will be self-sustaining, focusing on early-stage biotech companies.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced creation of an independent investment fund that will focus on treatments in the disease. In a statement, MMRF said that the Myeloma Investment Fund will be a self-sustaining vehicle that will leverage the parent foundation’s “assets and expertise” to become the largest fund of its type to target multiple myeloma.

In its statement, MMRF said the $50 million 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 reliance on philanthropy and maximize donor gifts.” The focus will be on early-stage, series A funding for emerging biotech and/or asset management companies.

MMRF president and chief executive officer Paul Giusti said the foundation will partner with the fund to invest in the most promising biotech companies while generating a return to plow back into more research. The fund represents the fruits of MMRF’s 2 decades of work, he said. “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.”

Peter Kosa, PhD, MBA, will be the first managing director of the new fund. Kosa will be part of a 7-member board of directors, including 4 who are on MMRF’s board. “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,” Kosa said in the MMRF statement. “I am honored to work alongside them to expand our portfolio of assets and make new therapies available for patients.”

Founded in 1998, MMRF is well known for bringing a business approach to its investment in more than 75 clinical trials that have led to 10 FDA-approved drugs, including powerhouses such as lenalidomide (Revlimid) and bortezomib (Velcade). MMRF also created the CoMMpass Study, the largest genomic data set in any cancer. Because multiple myeloma is a heterogenous disease that demands many drugs and different approaches for each patient, MMRF has embraced precision medicine since its inception, collecting tissues and samples and promoting data sharing among its partner institutions. To date, MMRF has raised $400 million.

 
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