MMRF PRESS RELEASES
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Founder, CEO Receives American Society of Clinical Oncology's Partners in Progress Award
Norwalk, Conn. — June 4, 2006
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kathy Giusti, was awarded the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) Partners in Progress Award at the 42nd ASCO Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Ga. The Partners in Progress Award is given annually to honor the accomplishments of an extraordinary individual whose work and devotion have made a significant impact on cancer and its causes, cures, and treatments.
"Kathy Giusti has demonstrated visionary leadership and extraordinary vigor in advancing the field of myeloma research and in helping to bring better, more effective treatments to patients," said Joseph Bailes, MD, Interim Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of ASCO. "It is our privilege to recognize her exceptional efforts by honoring her with the Partners in Progress Award."
Giusti founded the MMRF in 1998 at the age of 37 following her diagnosis with multiple myeloma—an incurable blood cancer—with the mission to urgently and aggressively invest in research that would lead to a cure. Having raised more than $56 million, the MMRF is the world's number one funder of myeloma research. To date, the MMRF has supported more than 130 grants at 70 institutions worldwide and has played a critical role in the discovery, development, and communication of three breakthrough therapies–Thalomid®, Velcade®, and Revlimid®. Today, the MMRF is funding more than 30 novel compounds and therapeutic approaches, including the sponsorship of an ASCO 2006 Clinical Research Career Development Award that supports a novel Revlimid® combination trial and correlative science study.
As an extension of the MMRF's mission, Giusti in 2004 founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), an innovative research model that brings together leading academic institutions to speed the development of new myeloma therapies through highly innovative, collaborative research efforts. Committed to driving new therapies to patients as quickly as possible, MMRC research efforts focus on advancing novel and combination therapies out of the research lab and into early stage clinical trials.
"The ASCO Partners in Progress Award is a tremendous honor and truly validates the efforts of the MMRF and MMRC in advancing the field of myeloma research and drug discovery," said Kathy Giusti, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the MMRF and MMRC. "This award strengthens our resolve to work even harder to ensure that new treatments are brought from the bench to the bedside as quickly as possible."
Prior to founding the MMRF and MMRC, Giusti held a career as a pharmaceutical executive that spanned more than 15 years. In 2003, Giusti was appointed by President Bush to serve on the National Cancer Institute's National Cancer Advisory Board and also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for IMS Health. Giusti is a graduate of Harvard Business School with an MBA in general management.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the plasma cell, with a five-year survival rate of only 32 percent--one of the lowest of all cancers. Approximately 50,000 people in the United States are living with multiple myeloma and an estimated 16,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Although the peak age of onset of multiple myeloma is 65 to 70 years of age, recent statistics suggest that incidence is increasing and at an earlier age.