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Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and Mount Sinai School of Medicine Announce Research Collaboration


Mount Sinai School of Medicine Joins MMRC?s Elite Member Institutions

Norwalk, CT and New York, NY — August 2, 2010

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) and Mount Sinai School of Medicine today announced that Mount Sinai has become the newest Member Institution to join the MMRC to accelerate the development of new treatments for multiple myeloma.

The MMRC brings together leading academic institutions to promote and facilitate collaborative research in multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer with one of the lowest five-year survival rates of any cancer. Through its clinical research model, the MMRC has opened 25 clinical trials to date. MMRC members are among the world's leading clinical research institutions in multiple myeloma. Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s involvement in the MMRC follows the June appointment of blood cancer expert, Dr. Sundar Jagannath, MD, as Director of the Multiple Myeloma Program and Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Tisch Cancer Institute. Based on its membership, Mount Sinai School of Medicine will conduct Phase I and II clinical trials in multiple myeloma, as well as contribute to the MMRC Tissue Bank, which houses a critical mass of highly-annotated tissue and peripheral blood samples from multiple myeloma patients, and serves as a bridge between laboratory and clinical research.

“Mount Sinai School of Medicine was invited to join the MMRC as a Member Institution based on specific criteria, including extensive experience in conducting clinical trials and research in multiple myeloma. We are excited to welcome Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and look forward to working in partnership with them and the rest of our Consortium membership to bring new therapies to patients as quickly as possible,” said Susan L. Kelley, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the MMRC. “We are also pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Dr. Jagannath and his team, whose work is dedicated to improving outcomes for multiple myeloma patients.”

An internationally known researcher, Dr. Jagannath has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles in top journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the British Journal of Haematology, and Cancer. As Director for the Multiple Myeloma Program at Mount Sinai, Dr. Jagannath is helping to develop the Multiple Myeloma and Stem Cell Transplant Program into a translational and clinical research center in multiple myeloma. He is building projects that bridge basic science and clinical practices for the benefit of advancing care in blood cancer.

“Mount Sinai is honored to be recognized by the MMRC for our contributions to groundbreaking research in multiple myeloma,” said Dr. Jagannath. “Together with the other institutions in this prestigious consortium, we will make great strides in the treatment of this devastating disease.”

Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Jagannath was the Chief of the Multiple Myeloma Program and Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Program at St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center (SVCCC) in New York City. Dr. Jagannath has been recognized for his commitment to myeloma research with two Humanitarian Awards and the Spirit of Hope Award from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the sister organization to the MMRC. He is also the Honorary Chairman of “Laugh for Life,” an annual New York fundraiser for the foundation.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium
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 13 member institutions: University of California, San Francisco, City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, the Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and Washington University.

The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community. The MMRC is an affiliate organization of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the world's leading funder of multiple myeloma research. The MMRC is widely recognized as an optimal research model to rapidly address critical challenges in drug development and to explore opportunities in the today's most promising research areas–genomics, compound validation, and clinical trials. 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.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

For more information, visit www.mountsinai.org.

About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2010, 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.

Contacts

For MMRF:
Terri Clevenger, 203-227-0209
tclevenger@continuumhealthcom.com
or
For Mount Sinai:
Christie Corbett, 203-241-9200
christie.corbett@mountsinai.org