The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) Releases White Paper Outlining the Increasingly Important Role of Non-Profit Organizations in Drug Development

New Models for Non-Profit Organizations are Accelerating Research and Development Efforts

Norwalk, CT — January 19, 2012

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today the publication of a new white paper entitled, “The Advancing Role of Non-Profit Organizations in Drug Development.” This paper explores how non-profit organizations (NPOs) are taking on a larger role and driving progress in drug development by uniting the research enterprise around a cure-based, patient-centric agenda.

Based on a series of expert panel discussions at an industry-wide roundtable convened by the MMRF and Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), the white paper outlines best practices and most effective new models NPOs are undertaking to accelerate research and development efforts. Hosted by Harvard Business School, the roundtable included representatives from NPOs, the pharmaceutical industry, venture capital and academia. In addition to the MMRF and HSCI, the white paper highlights case studies and key insights from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, Harvard Business School, Polaris Venture Partners, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, and the Bridgespan Group.

“NPOs are playing an ever more critical role in enabling the drug development industry to bring new treatments to patients as quickly as possible,” said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), and Co-chair of the industry roundtable. “We were proud to lead the development of the roundtable and to participate in a passionate and insightful discussion around the topic. We believe it is critical to share these insights, and the resulting white paper outlines NPO strategies, organizational models and innovative deal structures that are advancing therapeutic development in tangible ways across different disease states.”

“NPOs are identifying and bridging gaps in the research continuum by providing funding for innovative research, fostering collaboration among partners and enabling knowledge sharing,” stated William A. Sahlman, Ph.D., Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Co-chair of the roundtable. “As the role of NPOs continues to evolve, they are making important progress addressing the scientific and business challenges inherent in drug development today.”

Key Highlights from the White Paper

The white paper focuses on four key areas in which NPOs are transcending their traditional roles, establishing new business models and creating demonstrable effects in the drug development enterprise.

Innovative Funding Structures

NPOs are creating innovative deal structures that allow them to partner more meaningfully with innovators throughout the entire drug development continuum. Instead of a focus solely on funding and information, NPOs are now brokering deals that leverage the talents, resources and strengths of their collaborators, with structures dependent on the goal of the collaboration.

Effective Coalition Building

Beyond funding, the most valuable currency every NPO has is a diverse body of disease-specific knowledge, spanning regulations, industry experts, promising targets, trial protocols and data. As “concierges” to this critically important information, NPOs are valuable partners to different entities in the drug development industry and are taking on a larger role by forging coalitions with industry, venture capital and academia.

Pre-Competitive Consortium Initiatives

Transparency and knowledge sharing are crucial to driving innovation in drug development. NPOs are establishing pre-competitive consortiums, enabling competitors to share early stage research findings with incentive structures that enable knowledge sharing to inform drug development decisions.

Public and Private Partnerships

While working to bring new treatments to patients, NPOs are also creating new opportunities to forge public/private partnerships with government groups interested in combating chronic and life-threatening diseases.

For a complete copy of the white paper, “The Advancing Role of Non-Profit Organizations in Drug Development,” please visit: www.themmrf.org/whitepaper.pdf.


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 $190 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 35 clinical trials through its affiliate organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). As exceptional stewards of its donors' investments, the MMRF has been consistently recognized for its sound fiscal management. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.

Media Contacts:

Anne Quinn Young, MMRF

Cara Amoroso, Feinstein Kean Healthcare