Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Recognizes Outstanding Partners in Academia and Industry

Prestigious Awards Recognize Innovation, Acceleration, and Collaboration

Norwalk, CT — January 22, 2013

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced that it has awarded Washington University in St. Louis with the MMRF Innovator Award, a team of researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with the MMRF Accelerator Award, and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company with the MMRF Collaborator Award. This is the first year the Foundation has presented these distinguished awards.

“The recipients of these prestigious MMRF Awards—Washington University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company—have each demonstrated extraordinary vision and a dedication to transforming multiple myeloma research and drug development to improve outcomes for patients,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF and a multiple myeloma patient. “We are proud to have partnered with them for so many years and extend our sincere gratitude for their incredible commitment to our efforts.”

MMRF Innovator Award
The MMRF Innovator Award recognizes Washington University in St. Louis for its extraordinary commitment to innovation as a means to improve outcomes for multiple myeloma patients. Washington University was selected for its leadership in the landmark MMRF Clinical Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile (CoMMpassSM) study. As the first academic institution to join the CoMMpass study, Washington University’s early and committed engagement, particularly its willingness to forego rights to potential inventions and to agree to place data generated from the study into the public domain, prompted other institutions to join the study.  Washington University has since remained a highly committed partner both in the speed with which it opened and began enrolling patients on CoMMpass, as well as the high-level institutional support it has secured.

MMRF Accelerator Award
The MMRF Accelerator Award recognizes Drs. Anderson, Richardson, Munshi, Laubach, Ghobrial and Schlossman and project manager Dianne Warren at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for their outstanding efforts and exceptional contributions to the rapid completion of clinical trials supported through the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), the clinical trials network of the MMRF. Since the inception of the MMRC in 2004, Dana-Farber has consistently led by example with the highest level of enrollment to MMRC-supported clinical trials. In 2012 alone, Dana-Farber contributed to nine MMRC-supported clinical trials by enrolling 47 patients, exceeding any other MMRC Member Institution.

MMRF Collaborator Award
The MMRF Collaborator Award recognizes Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company for its outstanding commitment to collaboration as a means to advance the research and development of more effective treatments for patients with multiple myeloma. Nowhere was this more evident than Millennium’s early and enthusiastic support of the MMRF CoMMpass study. As the first industry member to join the pre-competitive industry consortium, Millennium ensured that this landmark study lost no momentum in opening and motivated others to follow its lead. The company has also partnered with the MMRC to launch highly innovative clinical trials through the MMRC - four trials in 2012 alone and 22 trials overall. 

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 $200 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 nine consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509(a)3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. It is led from MMRC offices in Norwalk, Conn., and comprises 16 member institutions: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Ohio State University, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), University of California-San Francisco, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Virginia Cancer Specialists, and Washington University in St. Louis. The MMRC is the only consortium to join academic institutions through membership agreements, customized IT systems, and an integrated tissue bank. For more information, please visit www.themmrc.org.

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Media Contact:
Anne Quinn Young, MPH