Navigation Links
Muscular Dystrophy Association Launches New Venture Philanthropy
Date:4/1/2009

Will Apply VC Business Practices to Funding Research

TUCSON, Ariz., April 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today announced the launch of a new initiative, MDA Venture Philanthropy (MVP), which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of MDA. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, MVP will break with traditional philanthropy models for funding research by applying the tools of venture capital firms to fast track the development of new therapies and cures for muscular dystrophy and related diseases.

In the newly emerging realm of venture philanthropy, MVP will be uniquely positioned because of its ability to build upon MDA's highly successful translational research program that efficiently integrates the various steps in research and clinical trials, while leveraging MDA's significant clinical resources.

MDA will provide initial seed money of $10 million for MVP's operating capital. Its investments will specifically focus on companies conducting commercially promising research in four disease categories: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease); spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); and Friedreich's ataxia, myotonic dystrophy, and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.

MVP will approach the raising, investment and management of funds much like a venture capital firm, utilizing venture capital principles and tools to develop strategies, evaluate each investment opportunity, make quick and soundly based decisions and comprehensively report results against milestones to investors.

MVP will seek donations from a new body of philanthropists -- individuals with both a familial connection to muscle diseases and the financial ability to make a significant contribution ($250,000 or more). MVP will then use the donations to place initial targeted investments into biotechnology companies and academic institutions with highly promising therapies for these diseases. These investments by MVP will not only provide needed funding but will also serve to attract follow-on investments from other sources such as pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

"We're excited about MVP because it will help us to overcome the critical funding gap that can occur in research on promising new drugs and therapies," said MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg.

MVP's venture capital model addresses the well-known drug development challenge in which promising work on ideas for new drug therapies, development of which can take many years and cost more than $1 billion to bring to fruition, can run out of money and be abandoned. The funding problem is worsened when the drug or the therapy is being developed for a disease that affects a relatively small patient population base, with a relatively small return on investment. MVP overcomes these problems by joining the entrepreneurial spirit of donors with best business practices to drive a specific therapeutic development.

"As a venture philanthropy operating in a very distressed economy and a competitive philanthropy landscape, MVP will hold the companies we invest our donations in fully accountable through milestone-driven contracts," MVP Executive Director Sharon Hesterlee, Ph.D. said. "But we will also hold ourselves accountable to our donors through a structure that enables them to have an advisory role in MVP's investment evaluation process, and to see firsthand that MVP is meeting its goals as an organization."

About MDA: MDA is a voluntary health agency supporting programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, advocacy, and professional and public health education for muscular dystrophy and related diseases. MDA is the largest nongovernmental sponsor of neuromuscular disease research. The Association's programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors. Visit www.mda.org for more information.

    Contact: Tara Wood
             Director of Communications
             (520) 615-6700
             twood@mdavp.org
             www.mdavp.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. AGA Medical Corporation Receives Approval for the AMPLATZER Muscular Ventricular Septal Defect Occluder
2. Summit on Spinal Muscular Atrophy
3. Jerry Lewis Urges Congress to Protect Medicare Benefits of People With Neuromuscular Diseases
4. New center to lead international muscular dystrophy research effort
5. Muscular Dystrophy Treatment Shows Promise
6. Neuromuscular Dentistry Ends Womans Migraines
7. PTC Therapeutics Announces Additional $1.6 Million Grant from the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation
8. UD researchers discover promising technique for repairing gene that causes spinal muscular atrophy
9. UD researchers discover technique for repairing gene defect that causes spinal muscular atrophy
10. 2-way cell talk provides clues about neuromuscular disease
11. New potential treatment for muscular dystrophy appears to be safe
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort ... holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain ... Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an orthodontist ... has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile technology, ... , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can be used ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The ... published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Bracket , a leading ... next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, ... June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Guerbet announced today that it has been named a ... One of 12 suppliers to receive the ... of Premier members through exceptional local customer service and ... lower costs. "We ... customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: