The MMRF Has a Singular Focus: Bringing More Effective Treatments to Patients - Faster
When the MMRF was founded in 1998, patients with multiple myeloma had little hope. There was very little research on the disease. The same drugs had been used for several decades, with no new innovations on the horizon. As a result, patients had a life expectancy of only 3 years. Since then, the MMRF’s urgent and revolutionary work with researchers, clinicians, and partners in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries has sparked new hope for patients and dramatically changed the treatment landscape. The results speak for themselves. Read more about the MMRF Pipeline.
Strength in Numbers—the MMRF Community
The MMRF’s tremendous partnerships have led to prolific results. By aligning visionary researchers and industry leaders, the MMRF developed a highly influential professional community steadfast in its commitment to advancing transformative research. The team has
- Funded over 250 researchers at over 130 institutions worldwide through our Senior Research and MMRF Fellows Awards
- Funded 11 biotech and pharmaceutical companies through the MMRF’s Biotech Investment Awards and Clinical Fund
- Expanded the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) to 16 leading research centers across North America. These centers are working collaboratively to conduct important critical clinical trials—making more progress than any one center could do alone.
Driving Breakthrough Treatments—Now
The MMRF leverages its significant standing with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to ensure that new compounds reach patients quickly. The results in oncology are unprecedented. Together, the MMRF
- Was instrumental in the launch of 6 new FDA-approved multiple myeloma treatments (Velcade®, Revlimid®, Thalomid®, Doxil®, Kyprolis™ and Pomalyst®) that not only doubled life expectancy among some patients, but are being tested or used in more than 30 other cancers
- Set into motion 45 groundbreaking clinical trials and more than 20 new drugs and drug combinations with its clinical network, the MMRC. More than 1,100 multiple myeloma patients have received treatment that was previously not possible, thanks to this consortium
- Partnered with Onyx Pharmaceuticals to establish the Carfilzomib Myeloma Access Program (C-MAP), making carfilzomib available to patients before general availability of this potentially lifesaving new drug.
Because time makes all the difference for patients, The MMRF shaves time at each step of the research and drug development process to help patients access potentially lifesaving treatments sooner.
- The MMRF opens MMRC trials 60% faster – or approximately 100 days faster—than comparable clinical trials. Continuing this steadfast commitment to urgency, we also complete enrollment into MMRC clinical trials 12% faster
- The MMRF launched the Personalized Medicine Initiative in just 5 months—record timing that is a true testament to our passion for results.
Uncovering New Insights Into the Disease
The relentless pursuit towards a cure has led the MMRF to a radical approach. Through cutting-edge genomics research, it has identified exciting new targets for drug development—a vital milestone for the MMRF and the future of multiple myeloma research. Some accomplishments include
- Pioneering the first and largest multicenter Tissue Bank in 2004, making it possible for researchers to conduct first-of-their-kind genomics studies and correlative science studies associated with MMRC clinical trials. Today, the Tissue Bank holds more than 3500 samples from more than 2800 patients
- Launching the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative (MMGI) in 2006—the first and most comprehensive genome-mapping program developed to identify genes and molecular pathways involved in the onset and progression of myeloma, and to find new susceptible targets for the disease
- Mapping the myeloma genome in 2009—another incredible first. The MMGI has since mapped the genomes of an additional 100 patients. Notably, all data from the MMGI are funneled into a public portal where scientists worldwide can access prepublication data
- Publishing key MMGI findings in the prestigious journal, ‘Nature’—these findings included an association with both BRAF, a commonly mutated gene in cancer never before linked to myeloma, and with epigenetic targets, for which new drugs are already under development
- Laying the foundation for the development of an amazing new frontier—personalized medicine
A Groundbreaking First—Individualized Treatment
New treatment approaches tailored to multiple myeloma patients’ individual molecular profiles are urgently needed to extend lives and begin to cure the disease. With extensive experience in genomics and a strong clinical network in place, the MMRF is in the unique position to champion this bold concept and has become a model for other research groups seeking to advance personalized medicine.
- The MMRF broke new ground with the establishment of the Multiple Myeloma Personalized Medicine Initiative. This new program sits on the razor’s edge of science and aims to vastly improve the understanding of the molecular features of multiple myeloma and, by leveraging this knowledge, match patients with the right treatments or combination of treatments
- At the heart of the Multiple Myeloma Personalized Medicine Initiative is the revolutionary CoMMpassSM study—the first and largest study of its kind to analyze disease progression and response to treatment based on patients’ genomic or molecular profiles. Findings from this study can potentially transform multiple myeloma treatment approaches by enabling physicians, for the first time, to find individualized treatments that are most likely to be effective
- Notably, academic and pharmaceutical industry partners in this initiative have given up rights to any inventions, signifying their commitment to expediting and revolutionizing the traditional drug discovery and development model
The cost of paving the way to optimized treatment is astounding—in financial and manpower terms. While it is critical how much money an organization like the MMRF can raise, it’s even more important how wisely the money is spent. With unwavering focus on its goal, the MMRF is proud to be an efficient, patient-focused, and fiscally responsible organization that stands proudly behind its accomplishments. The MMRF’s strategic partnerships have helped accomplish some important goals, including
- Approval of 6 new multiple myeloma drugs
- Creation of the world’s first and largest myeloma tissue bank
- Full sequencing or “mapping” the myeloma genome
- Opening 45 clinical trials, accelerating 6 treatments to Phase III
- Launching a personalized medicine initiative, including a landmark trial that will closely monitor 1,000 patients over 5 years