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Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Onyx Pharmaceuticals Announce Multi-Year Collaboration to Accelerate Personalized Medicine Approaches for Multiple Myeloma

NORWALK, Conn. and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONXX) today announced the start of a multi-year collaboration in support of the comprehensive research initiative in personalized medicine sponsored by the MMRF. The MMRF's Personalized Medicine Initiative, the largest research effort ever undertaken against this incurable disease, is designed to enable the molecular characterization of patients with multiple myeloma and advance the development of new, targeted treatments for the disease.

As a charter member of a growing pre-competitive consortium which includes academic, industry and non-profit members, Onyx, which has a focus in multiple myeloma, will provide scientific and financial support for this comprehensive research initiative. The pre-competitive component of the collaboration gives the consortium equal access to data generated for a set period of time before the data is released in the public domain.

"We look forward to working closely with Onyx to gain a much better understanding of how this disease develops and progresses, and to bring the entire R&D ecosystem together to greatly accelerate the development of new treatments, and ultimately, a cure," said Kathy Giusti, founder and CEO of the MMRF and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium, and a multiple myeloma patient. "Onyx is an invaluable partner who shares our passion for rapidly translating new insights into breakthrough therapies to bring us closer to a cure. We look forward to working together in this critical initiative."

The MMRF announced earlier this year that enrollment has begun in its CoMMpass(SM) Study (relating Clinical Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma to Personal AsseSSment of genetic profile), the cornerstone of the multiple myeloma personalized medicine research effort. This landmark 1000-patient longitudinal study will provide unprecedented insights into the molecular course of a patient's disease, from initial diagnosis through their response to treatment. As consortium members, Onyx and other industry partners will have early access to the data that emerge from this study, potentially providing them with new targets for intervention and biomarker development, accelerating the time from discovery to clinical development.

"There is a significant need for new treatment options in multiple myeloma, and we are proud to work in partnership with MMRF, researchers and others in the industry to better understand the disease at a molecular level and potentially develop targeted therapies that will improve the lives of these patients," said N. Anthony Coles, M.D., president and CEO, Onyx. "We share the MMRF's vision that to succeed we will not only need great science, but also the creation of innovative models for collaboration to accelerate rapid development of promising treatments."

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.(i)

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 donors' investments, the MMRF has been consistently recognized for its sound fiscal management. For more information about the MMRF, please visit

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium

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: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, 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, 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

About Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Based in South San Francisco, California, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for improving the lives of people with cancer and other serious diseases.  The company is focused on developing novel medicines that target key molecular pathways. For more information about Onyx, visit the company's website at

(i) The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation


SOURCE Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
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