Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium Awarded $1.5 Million Grant to Support Tissue and Data Banks

Private Family Foundation, The Pioneer Fund, Donates Funds to Newly Created Consortium for Rare Cancer

New Canaan, CT — September 14, 2004

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from The Pioneer Fund, a private family foundation based in Denver, Colo. The generous donation was given to the MMRC to support the ongoing development and implementation of the MMRC Tissue and Data Banks. The MMRC also received funding through private donations.

The Pioneer Fund is a private family foundation established by Helen M. McLoraine, a pioneer who broke new ground for women by assuming leadership roles in the oil and gas business in the 1950s. Influenced by her mother, Mrs. McLoraine established The Pioneer Fund to continue her lifelong support of projects and organizations that focus on medical research, education and social welfare. As a philanthropist, Mrs. McLoraine also supported more than 50 amateur skaters along with The Pioneer Fund Board member and Olympic gold medallist Scott Hamilton.

"We are grateful to The Pioneer Fund for having the confidence in our organization to help us fight multiple myeloma," says Kathy Giusti, president and founder of the MMRC and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. "The generous funds provided by The Pioneer Fund allow us to move forward aggressively to fulfill our mission in finding a cure for this disease by enabling us to bring together the top people in myeloma research with the most state-of-the-art technology."

Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cell, is an incurable but treatable disease. There are approximately 50,000 people in the United States living with multiple myeloma and each year an estimated 11,070 people die from the disease. Multiple myeloma is the second most prevalent blood cancer after non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"Helen McLoraine has touched millions of lives without many people being aware of it. That to me is the essence of philanthropy. Through her establishment of The Pioneer Fund, the giving continues," said Scott Hamilton. "As a Pioneer Fund Board member I was touched deeply by the passion and commitment of Kathy Giusti. Inspired by Kathy, this grant to the MMRC allows all of us at The Pioneer Fund to participate in the goal of finding a cure for multiple myeloma. Helen would be so proud to know that her desire to make the world a better place remains hard at work through many amazing organizations like this one," Hamilton added.

The MMRC Tissue Bank will serve as an invaluable resource of tissue and corresponding clinical and genomic data necessary to develop new, targeted therapies. All samples maintained within the Tissue Bank will be collected, analyzed and stored in adherence with government-regulated Good Laboratory Practice standards. This centralized repository will enable scientists from academia and industry to identify and validate molecular targets for multiple myeloma, which will speed up the research and development process for new drugs and therapies against the disease and help to bring these drugs to market faster.

Complementing the MMRC Tissue Bank is the MMRC Data Bank, a state-of-the-art system that integrates laboratory and clinical trial data into one common interface, allowing researchers to effectively conduct early phase trials with a focus on correlative science. MMRC Member Institutions will conduct research in three multi-site research cores: Genomics, Validation and Clinical Trials that will remain highly integrated.

MMRC Member Institutions include Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Mayo Clinic and University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital). These institutions were selected based on their National Institutes of Health grant awards, number of peer-reviewed publications, clinical expertise and a collaborative approach to science.

About the MMRC

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509a3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. The MMRC was founded by Kathy Giusti, the founder and president of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, which is an early investor in the MMRC. The MMRC was created to rapidly address critical challenges in accelerating drug development and explore opportunities in the most promising areas of myeloma research. 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.

For more information, contact Elizabeth McGrath Zortman, Environics Communications at 203-325-8772, 28 or ezortman@environics-usa.com.

For information, contact:

Anne Quinn Young, MMRF