publication date: Oct. 2, 2020
Lymphoma Research Foundation announces $10M initiative for follicular lymphoma clinical research
The Lymphoma Research Foundation has announced the establishment of the Jaime Peykoff Follicular Lymphoma Initiative, named for follicular lymphoma survivor and wife of Andrew Peykoff II, owner of Niagara Bottling.
Established through the gift of the Peykoff Family and Niagara Cares, the $10 million initiative is designed to convene experts in follicular lymphoma research and patient care, accelerate therapeutic development, and to drive direct investment in clinical research.
LRF assembled a steering committee comprising FL experts to provide thought leadership for the Initiative. This multidisciplinary, multi-institutional panel will ensure all key stakeholders are informed of the initiative’s goals and identify the most significant areas of unmet needs in clinical FL research. The initiative’s steering committee includes the following:
Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Chair
Sonali M. Smith, MD, The University of Chicago Medical Center, Vice Chair
Stephen Ansell, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester
John P. Leonard, MD, Weill Cornell Medicine
Brian Link, MD, University of Iowa, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center
Laura Pasqualucci, MD, Columbia University Medical Center
John Timmerman, MD, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
LRF will develop an international scientific workshop to drive collaboration. Follicular lymphoma thought leaders would share early research findings, discuss the results of pivotal clinical trials, and engage in planning exercises designed to advance FL research.
Under the leadership of the Jaime Peykoff Follicular Lymphoma Initiative Steering Committee and the LRF SAB, LRF will fund both Clinical Investigator Career Development Awards and Senior Investigator Grants to attract senior and early-career investigators and train them in the field of FL research.
For more information about the Jaime Peykoff Follicular Lymphoma Initiative or additional LRF research programs, visit www.lymphoma.org/research.
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research launches drug discovery partnerships
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research is announcing the launch of a funding program that supports the development of novel cancer therapeutics in areas with high unmet needs. These Drug Discovery Partnership awards are structured to support high-risk, high-reward research and bridge the substantial gap in advancing promising academic discoveries to novel therapies.
Two projects have been initially selected for funding:
A team at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute led by Sara Buhrlage, PhD is developing a best-in-class inhibitor of the USP7 enzyme for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma, a rare cancer of the bone and soft tissue that affects children and young adults. USP7 is a deubiquitinating enzyme or “DUB” a class of proteins that regulate cellular protein homeostasis and play an important role in diseases including cancer. Over the past decade there has been much interest targeting DUBs with small molecule therapeutics, however progress has been slow due to issues with specificity and selectivity. Buhrlage’s lab has discovered a new series of potent and selective USP7 inhibitors that will be optimized preclinically and hopefully bring new therapeutic treatments to the clinic to help treat this devastating childhood cancer. More information on the USP7 project can be found on the MFCR website.
A team at MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Institute for Applied Cancer Science, part of the institution’s Therapeutics Discovery division, led by Philip Jones, PhD is developing what could be the first inhibitor of the transcriptional co-activator CBP/p300 to be tested clinically in genetically defined leukemias. CBP and p300 proteins are both epigenetic regulators that can read and write certain epigenetic marks on histone proteins and have been linked to the development of cancer and other diseases. The IACS team at MD Anderson has discovered a highly selective series of CBP/p300 bromodomain inhibitors and will now focus on preclinical development. More information on the CBP/p300 project can be found on the MFCR website.
MFCR Drug Discovery Partnerships are focused on key milestones along the continuum from target identification to preclinical development and initial regulatory filings. Projects will typically be supported for 1–3 years with budgets aligned to detailed research plans and award payments made based on milestone achievements. For these initial two projects, up to $4.6M total is expected to be awarded over the next two years.
The scientists at MFCR will also take advantage of their experience working with contract research organizations and other industry partners to provide grantees access to state-of-the-art drug discovery and development capabilities.
Since 2017, MFCR has awarded over $95 million in grants to enable innovative basic, translational, and clinical cancer research, including early-stage drug discovery. MFCR also has a growing investment portfolio that includes drug discovery companies Accent Therapeutics (focused on RNA-modifying proteins implicated in cancer) and Verseau Therapeutics (developing macrophage-targeting immunotherapies), as well as liquid biopsy diagnostics companies C2i Genomics and GRAIL.