Business and Professional
March 19, 2015
Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT) the nation's only nonprofit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapies for cancer has achieved a major milestone, surpassing $25 million donated to innovative and breakthrough cancer research. ACGT was founded by Barbara Netter and her late husband, Edward, in 2001 with the goal of transforming cancer into a manageable, treatable disease.
Pushing the foundation across the $25 million threshold are a pair of three-year, $250,000 grants to two esteemed scientists: Meenakshi Hegde, MD, of Texas Children's Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, and Christopher Jewell, PhD, at University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Hegde's work will focus on immunotherapy, specifically adoptive cellular therapy for melanoma. Dr. Jewell's research is centered on harnessing intra-lymph node gene therapy to promote tumor immunity. The grantees will develop genetically-modified T cells and cancer vaccines with the potential to stop cancer in its tracks.
"Drs. Hegde and Jewell are two outstanding scientists in the vanguard of treating and defeating cancer," said Barbara Netter, ACGT's President. "Their work offers tremendous hope to those battling cancer, and also to their loved ones."
ACGT grants are awarded to promising researchers whose work dovetails with the foundation's mission: Leveraging cell and gene therapies to supplant the more harrowing cancer treatments like radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. ACGT's $25 million in grants have funded watershed research and trials such as those that activate patients' own immune systems to battle cancer cells. These trials have saved the lives of cancer patients otherwise believed to be beyond treatment.
The two most recent grants continue ACGT's mission of equipping innovative scientists with the tools and support to revolutionize the fight against cancer. ACGT grants range from $250,000 to $1 million, and reward both young, promising researchers and their more established colleagues. Past recipients include such pre-eminent scientists as University of Pennsylvania's Dr. Carl June and Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Dr. Michel Sadelain; this past summer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted "breakthrough" status to immunotherapy treatments for leukemia developed by each of these scientists for which ACGT provided early funding.
About Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT)
Established in 2001, ACGT (www.acgtfoundation.org) is the nation's only not-for-profit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapy treatments for all types of cancer. One-hundred percent of contributions go directly to research. ACGT has funded 46 grants in the U.S. and Canada since its founding in 2001 by Barbara Netter, President, and her late husband, Edward, to conduct and accelerate critically needed innovative research. Since its inception, ACGT has awarded 31 grants to Young Investigators and 15 grants to Clinical Investigators, totaling more than $25 million in funding. ACGT is located at 96 Cummings Point Road, Stamford, CT 06902.
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