Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) Honors University of Michigan with 2010 Center of the Year Award

Norwalk, CT — December 3, 2010

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) today announced that it has awarded the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center the 2010 MMRC Center of the Year Award. The award was presented to Dr. Andrzej Jakubowiak, the leader of the MMRC clinical research activities at University of Michigan, at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in Orlando, Fla. The MMRC Center of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of an MMRC Member Institution, and its clinical research team members, in advancing the field of multiple myeloma research and drug development. It is the second time the MMRC has honored the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center with the MMRC Center of the Year Award.

In awarding the 2010 MMRC Center of the Year Award, the MMRC evaluated its 13 Member Institutions’ myeloma clinical trial activities during 2010, including the number of MMRC clinical trials launched, the speed at which clinical trials were opened, and the number of patients enrolled by that center in clinical trials conducted within the Consortium trial network. MMRC Member Institutions were also evaluated for their contribution of new clinical research ideas and institutional engagement in the MMRC.

“The MMRC Center of the Year Award recognizes for the second time the University of Michigan and, in particular, Dr. Jakubowiak and his clinical research team, for their incredible efforts to ensure that more effective treatment options will be there when multiple myeloma patients need them,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRC and a multiple myeloma patient. Under the leadership of Dr. Jakubowiak, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at the University of Michigan, the Michigan site has opened several clinical trials with the utmost speed and efficiency. Dr. Jakubowiak, in particular, was recognized for his strategic stewardship of pharmaceutical and biotech partners and for his leadership in catalyzing and advancing highly innovative pre-clinical and clinical research ideas.

“I speak on behalf of my entire clinical research team when I say it is an honor to receive this distinguished award once again from the MMRC,” said Dr. Jakubowiak. “We are proud to be part of such a uniquely collaborative and highly respected model for accelerating the development of new treatment options for multiple myeloma patients, and will continue to work urgently to bring patients the next generation of therapies.”

The MMRC Center of the Year Award bestows a one-year grant to fund an on-site Multiple Myeloma Project Coordinator to provide project management support to enhance the efficiencies of the MMRC clinical trials conducted at the University of Michigan. Each year, the MMRC awards over $1 million in grant support across its member institutions to provide project management support for MMRC trials conducted at each center.

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: University of California, San Francisco, City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, the John Theurer 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, Washington University, Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, Sarah Cannon Cancer Center and Virginia Cancer Specialists. The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, 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 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.

Media Contact:
Terri Clevenger