Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is a charitable organization dedicated to multiple myeloma, an [1] incurable blood cancer, which afflicts over fifty thousand Americans each year. Most medical charities focus on increasing public awareness and on raising money to distribute to researchers, in the hope that some of the work will lead to a new drug or a cure; but the MMRF runs as if it were a for-profit business, expecting high returns from the money the organization raises from donors.[2]


MMRF was founded in 1998 by twin sisters Kathy Giusti and Karen Andrews, following Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. Giusti, a pharmaceutical company executive and Harvard Business School Alum, wanted to encourage researchers to develop treatments for multiple myeloma by using business models rather than academic models of drug development. [2]

About The MMRF[edit]

Although some academic scientists think it's unrealistic for patients to think that they can "buy a cure," the MMRF has helped finance eight drugs now in Phase II trials, developed a tissue bank with 1,400 bone marrow samples, and raised $92.4 million since 1988.[2]

MMRF is the number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, having raised over $120 million since its inception to fund more than 120 laboratories worldwide.[3] MMRF has developed a diverse research “portfolio” of programs to yield long-, mid-, and short-term returns on the MMRF’s research investment and deliver better treatments to patients faster: basic science programs to better understand the disease and identify new druggable targets through genomics and proteomics research; validation programs to prioritize new compounds and combinations based on key targets; and a network of leading myeloma centers who collaborate to conduct clinical trials to accelerate the development of novel treatments.[citation needed]

The work of the MMRF contributed to the FDA approval of six drugs for multiple myeloma. Introduction of these treatments has helped increased life expectancy in some patients from four years to nearly seven years and, because of their success in myeloma, these same drugs are now being explored as potential treatments for more than 20 other cancers and diseases.[citation needed] The MMRF is funding research into 30 compounds at the pre-clinical stage.[4]

The MMRF directs 93 percent of funds raised to research and related programming. The MMRF received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, an A+ from the American Institute of Philanthropy, and approval from the National Cancer Institute for its research grants program.[citation needed]

Honorary Board Members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". 
  2. ^ a b c Groopman, Jerome (January 28, 2008). "Buying a Cure.(Kathy Giusti's Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation)". The New Yorker. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Harvard Business School Awards MMRF Founder, CEO with Alumni Achievement Award". Reuters (Business wire). 2009-10-22. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Duxbury, Sarah (December 8, 2006). "Foundations move in where VCs fear to tread". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 

External links[edit]