December 3, 2009

FasterCures - Partnering for Cures, Susan Kelley, MD

Nearly 600 medical research executives, scientists, policy makers, and funders today convened in NY to explore novel development approaches and innovative funding strategies at the inaugural Partnering for Cures meeting. The MMRF and MMRC were well –represented at the meeting.

FasterCures, part of the Milken Institute, convened Partnering for Cures to facilitate multi-sector collaborations needed to turn a scientific discovery into an accessible therapy. The meeting was intended to highlight best practices in the conduct and management of medical research and approaches that could streamline the process. The leadership of the MMRF and MMRC was invited to make several presentations about the innovative collaborative research and development model that is the hallmark of the MMRF. Kathy Giusti, MMRF Founder and CEO, presented her perspectives as the leader of the MMRF during the opening plenary session on Wednesday morning. On that same panel was Bob Beall, CFF President and CEO and MMRF Board member. Bob's leadership in the area of venture philanthropy is unparalleled and we are incredibly lucky to have him as a member of our Board. Leading the panel was Margaret Anderson, Executive Director of FasterCures. Kudos to Margaret for her work on this amazing meeting and Mike Milken, head of Fastercures, for his insights into improving medical research.

Susan Kelley, MD, CMO of the MMRC, participated in a panel discussion to allow the audience to learn first-hand from “cure entrepreneurs”, nonprofit leaders who are implementing unique business models to produce dramatic results for patients. Louise Perkins, PhD, CSO of the MMRF, presented further details of the MMRF and MMRC collaborative model for myeloma drug research and development at a session which included many interested philanthropists, executives and scientists from various organizations. One-on-one connections between the meeting participants were facilitated through a number of partnering sessions.

Overall, it is invigorating to see a groundswell of interest to build bridges among the key stakeholders (patients, researchers and industry) to advance medical science in an approach we have pursued for many years.