Tech billionaire and Napster co-founder Sean Parker has donated $250 million dollars towards fighting cancer with a new research institute!
Through his foundation, the Parker Foundation, Sean donated the funds to go towards the new Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which will bring together several cancer researchers to focus on immunotherapy treatments that trigger the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. These type of treatments have been shown to have less serious side effects that regular chemo and radiation therapies, which are typically used.
“We are at an inflection point in cancer research, and now is the time to maximize immunotherapy’s unique potential to transform all cancers into manageable diseases, saving millions of lives,” Sean said in a statement. “We believe that the creation of a new funding and research model can overcome many of the obstacles that currently prevent research breakthroughs.”
With this new institute, over 40 labs and 300 researchers and immunologists will unite, gathering all of their data, research, and trials to create treatments for cancer patients. Cancer centers that will be involved include Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, Stanford University, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania. All participants will share the glory in this network. “Any breakthrough made at one center is immediately available to another center without any kind of IP (intellectual property) entanglements or bureaucracy,” Sean told Reuters.
Each Parker Institute Center has also agreed to join the research effort for at least seven years, and has already received $10 million to $15 million in initial funding, reported by SFGate.com.
Immunotherapy is a breakthrough treatment that could have a great impact on current cancer patients, as research for a cure continues.
Sean himself has given back to multiple causes throughout his lifetime, but was inspired by Hollywood producer and friend Laura Ziskin, who was also the founder of the Stand Up To Cancer charity. She showed him why there was such a great need to revitalize cancer research. Sadly, she passed away from cancer in 2011. “Losing Laura transformed me,” Sean admitted.
It’s truly amazing that Sean offered this extremely generous donation towards this cause! I hope that this new institute is able to not only create better treatment, but continue to work towards a cure!
Image via Forbes