New $1 Million research funding announced for PV, ET and MF

MPN Research gains momentum with Increased Funding

The MPN Research Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) are proud to announce that ten new research projects will receive funding through their collaboration, renamed MPN Challenge in 2014. The focus areas for this project were conceived at a meeting of academia and industry researchconvened by the Foundation in November 2013.

The focus areas are: Reducing the MPN Allelle Burden, Selective JAK2 Inhibition; Immunotherapy; CALR Mutation; and Fibrosis & the Bone Marrow Niche.

There will be a total of $1 million distributed for targeted MPN research. Each grant recipient will receive $100,000 over one year. Projects will have an opportunity for achievement-based follow up funding. The winners are:

  • Nadia Carlesso, MD, PhD – Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Michael Deininger, MD, PhD – University of Utah Cancer Center
  • Angela Fleischman, MD, PhD & Richard Van Etten, MD, PhD – UC Irvine Department of Medicine
  • Robert Kralovics, PhD – Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Ann Mullally, MD – Harvard Medical School
  • Katya Ravid, MD, PhD – Boston University School of Medicine
  • Gary Reuther, PhD – Moffit  Cancer Center
  • Jean-Luc Villeval, PhD; Sandra Pellegrini, PhD; & Stefan Constantinescu, MD, PhD – INSERM; Institut Pasteur; Universite Catholique de Louvain
  • Leonard Zon, MD – Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Lei Ding, PhD – Columbia University Medical School

The grant review was conducted by a multi-disciplinary group overseen by the MPN Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board Chair Dr. Andrew Schafer from Weil Cornell.

Says Foundation President Barbara Van Husen “The emergence of new treatments for MF patients is encouraging, but until there is proof that these emerging treatments actually barbara-vanhusenchange the course of these diseases, fears about conversion to MF (from ET or PV) or to AML (from MF) will remain. We at MPNRF and LLS seek to change this future, and we believe a focus on new approaches towards MPN research can change the trajectory of these diseases.”

This work would not occur without support from the people living with PV, ET, and MF as well as their friends and families, who through their contributions and outreach make this possible.

Publishers Note

I firmly believe this is the tip of the iceberg leading to expanded research initiatives in the study of MPNs.  The MPN Research Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and our 10 grant research recipients are rock stars!  Keep in mind Geron foresees the treatment of ET and MF as a $4 Billion market.  Toss PV into the MPN mix and maybe we are looking at $6 BILLION+/-.

MPNs are a designated “orphan disease” and a lucrative, targeted niche being researched by pharmaceutical giants including Novartis/Incyte, Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, Celgene and Roche just to name a few.  No small players by any means.  World renowned cancer centers including MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Mount Sinai are deeply entrenched in MPN research (in addition to the fine research hospitals of our grant recipients).

A search of for “mpn” yields 293 open studies.  This is not an overlooked market, but one that has only recently garnered such major attention coming on the heels of Incyte’s blockbuster drug, Jakafi for MF (and likely soon for PV).  The few “naysayers” among us retort “big pharma out to make millions” and to that I say “fine, let the drug companies make their millions, just let ’em find a cure or improved treatments for us all.”

About David Wallace

Founder of PV Reporter, a resource for Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) patients and caregivers. After being diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV) in 2009, I utilized social media to connect with "informed patients" and develop a better understanding of emerging treatment options. My philosophy on patient care is straight forward - "educating the patient is essential, so the patient can guide their physician to meet his or her needs." PV Reporter is a comprehensive resource hub giving visitors vital tools to become "empowered patients."

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