LLS and Oregon Health Team Up to Beat AML

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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Oregon Health & Sciences University announced a $4 million commitment by the Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation to support this groundbreaking collaboration to find new therapies against acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The model for this "Beat AML" project comes from Brian Druker's successful approach to developing Gleevec (R), a targeted therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia, and LLS's critical contribution to that effort.

With treatment options for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) largely unchanged in 30 years, Druker and his team at OHSU are creating a network of collaborators, including technology companies with advanced computational analysis and genetic sequencing expertise, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and other medical research institutions. The Beat AML initiative will involve 900 AML patients to develop a profile of the molecular drivers of the disease. As the information is gathered, researchers from four medical institutions will simultaneously test the response of patients' leukemia cells to different targeted therapies and novel combinations. The goal is to eventually match patients with treatments that precisely target their leukemia.

Harry T. Mangurian, Jr., for whom the foundation is named, was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome which morphed into AML. Mangurian, who operated a race horse breeding farm in Florida and once owned the Boston Celtics, died in 2008.

"We are hoping to do for AML patients what has been achieved with CML: take a blood cancer that was, with few exceptions, a death sentence, and enable patients not only to survive, but to enjoy a longer, richer quality of life," said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS's interim president and chief executive officer, and chief mission officer. "LLS is focused on finding cures and ensuring access to therapies for all blood cancer patients and our priority is to employ the best science to help us address critical unmet medical needs, which is why we are partnering with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, a leader in developing targeted therapies."

Source: LLS

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