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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Launches Revolution in Precision Medicine to Accelerate Cures at New York Event


MMRF launches world's first and only open access data platform in myeloma

New York, NY & Norwalk, CT — September 24, 2013

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today is announcing a transformation taking place in how future cures will be found in multiple myeloma—and how the new MMRF is paving the way in putting speed in the system by bringing Precision Medicine to myeloma patients.

Headlining the event, that was held today at the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences Building in New York City, was the launch of two first-of-its-kind open access gateways – one for researchers and one for patients – that will facilitate data sharing and accelerate drug development and cancer research. The MMRF Researcher Gateway will upload comprehensive genomic data as it becomes available and make it accessible to all scientists, with the goal of speeding up the development of precision therapies and ultimately advancing cures. The MMRF CoMMunity Gateway will aggregate sub-types of myeloma patients and steer them to treatments and trials that are specific to their needs.

Powering the MMRF Researcher Gateway is the MMRF CoMMpassSM Study, launched in 2011, which follows 1,000 patients from initial diagnosis through their course of treatment, over a minimum of five years, conducting sequential tissue samplings to identify how their molecular profile affects his or her clinical progression and individual response to treatment. This robust dataset is unique in that it ties clinical and genomic data together in a longitudinal effort.

Approximately 200 doctors, researchers, scientists and philanthropists were in attendance at today’s MMRF event called, ‘The Revolution Starts Now,’ with speakers including Kathy Giusti, MMRF Founder and CEO; Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Eric Lander, Founder and CEO of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University; Joseph Leveque, Vice President, U.S. Medical – Oncology at Bristol Myers Squibb; John Carpten, Deputy Director of Basic Science at the Translational Genomics Institute (TGen); and John Quackenbush, Founder and CEO of GenoSpace.

“There has never been a more optimistic and promising time for advancements and cures for multiple myeloma,” said Giusti. “Breakthroughs in a complicated cancer such as this can only be obtained through unfailing commitment from our scientists, clinicians, pharmaceutical partners, patients and technology partners. The MMRF has been there fighting every step of the way for its patients since its inception in 1998.”

As a result, the MMRF has built a collaborative myeloma community, which has played a major role in delivering the next generation of treatments to patients as quickly as possible, doubling their life expectancy and raising more than $225 million to fight the disease. This evolutionary next step in the organization’s history is literally harnessing the power of Precision Medicine—big data, open access, and a worldwide network, precisely tailor therapies to each patient's individual requirement.

“Millions of dollars are spent yearly on cancer research, yet there is no viable means of sharing the data – and it is slowing down progress towards finding cures,” said Walter Capone, Chief Operating Officer of the MMRF. “The MMRF Gateways will inject speed into the system by breaking down barriers and encourage information sharing at the highest levels.”

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 41 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2013, more than 20,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $225 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 10 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit: www.themmrf.org.

Media contacts:
MMRF
Dwain Schenck
203-223-5230
dwain@schenckstrategies.com