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Cancer research partnership between UCSF, MMRF to drive drug development
Date:5/29/2009

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) have established the Stephen and Nancy Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative, a research collaboration dedicated to translating basic science discoveries into new candidate drugs for testing in clinical trials.

The initiative, known as MMTI, was launched with a $2 million gift from Stephen and Nancy Grand of San Francisco. Mr. Grand, age 65, is a multiple myeloma patient at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The MMTI, a collaboration comprised of UCSF basic scientists, clinical researchers and clinicians, will be led by Jeffrey Wolf, MD, director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. The basic science research arm will be led by UCSF's Peter Walter, PhD, an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the lead scientist on a Collaborative Innovation Award from HHMI that will help drive the initiative.

"Through the MMRF's drive to identify barriers slowing drug discovery and development, we saw a critical need to champion the growth of translational research in multiple myeloma," said Louise M. Perkins, PhD, chief scientific officer of the MMRF. "By partnering with UCSF to create the business plan for the MMTI, we are enabling the more rapid development of the next generation of treatments for multiple myeloma, and providing a blueprint for translational initiatives that can serve as models for advancing research in other cancers and diseases."

Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of the bone marrow. The five-year relative survival rate is about 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2008, an estimated 19,920 adults -- 11,190 men and 8,730 women -- in the United States were diagnosed with multiple myeloma and an estimated 10,690 people died from the disease.

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Contact: Jennifer OBrien
jobrien@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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