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Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Announces Millennium as First Industry Partner in Innovative Collaboration to Advance Personalized Medicine for Multiple Myeloma


New collaboration model will enable landmark 1000-patient CoMMpass longitudinal study to accelerate research

Norwalk, CT — September 29, 2011

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced that it has entered into a multi-year collaboration with Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company to advance the MMRF’s emerging research program in personalized medicine. Both organizations believe the MMRF’s Personalized Medicine Initiative program will enable the biological segmentation of patients and accelerate the development of new, targeted treatments and potentially curative approaches for multiple myeloma. Millennium is the first pharmaceutical company to join the MMRF in advancing this new initiative.

The MMRF’s Personalized Medicine Initiative is an eight-year, multifaceted program designed to identify the molecular origins of multiple myeloma and enable physicians to match specific treatment approaches to the patients most likely to benefit. The Personalized Medicine Initiative is centered around the CoMMpass (Relating Clinical Outcomes in MM to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile) study, a recently launched, landmark 1000-patient longitudinal study that will track multiple myeloma patients from initial diagnosis through their course of treatment, accompanied by sequential tissue sampling to identify how a patient’s molecular profile may affect clinical progression and individual response to treatment.

“For more than a decade, Millennium has been a true and strong ally for the MMRF and patients affected by multiple myeloma, and we are delighted for the pioneering support of the Personalized Medicine Initiative,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, and a multiple myeloma patient. “The MMRF and Millennium share a common vision for the future—to greatly improve our understanding of the patient-by-patient variability for multiple myeloma as a means of informing the development of new treatments, and ultimately, cures.”

As the charter member of a planned “pre-competitive industry consortium,” which will include other industry partners, Millennium will provide financial support for the initiative. The affiliation with Millennium builds on a decade of collaboration between the two organizations—the MMRF helped to support the development and introduction of Millennium’s flagship product VELCADE®, advancing medical treatment for multiple myeloma, and has continued to collaborate to advance combination treatment regimens and follow-on therapies with Millennium.

“Millennium is committed to advancing the field of personalized medicine to bring treatments to patients who can benefit from them the most,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Millennium. “We believe strongly that the MMRF’s Personalized Medicine Initiative will greatly improve our basic understanding of multiple myeloma, and will transform the way the entire research community works to turn new insights into testable hypotheses, and hypotheses into new treatments. We are proud to be the first company to support this critically important work.” For more information about the MMRF CoMMpass study, please visit www.themmrf.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 2011, 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.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
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 $170 million since its inception to fund nearly 120 laboratories worldwide, including 70 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies and has facilitated more than 30 clinical trials through its affiliate organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). As exceptional stewards of its donor’s investments, the MMRF consistently surpasses its peers in fiscal responsibility. 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. 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, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 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 was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community. The MMRC is a sister organization to 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 in 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 Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., markets VELCADE, a first-in-class proteasome inhibitor, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of product candidates. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. in May, 2008. The Company’s research, development and commercialization activities are focused in oncology. Additional information about Millennium is available through its website, www.millennium.com.

Media Contacts

MMRF
Eileen Regan
203-652-0212
ReganE@themmrf.org

Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Krystle Ficco
617-761-6702
Krystle.Ficco@fkhealth.com