AIM-HI was born out of National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), a national charity for cancer research co-founded by Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi in 1973. In its 46-year history, NFCR has provided more than $380 million in funding to cancer research and public prevention education.
NFCR has long been a catalyst for the kinds of “disruptive technologies” that are both accelerating innovation in healthcare and bringing hope and promise to patients suffering with cancer. While many are talking about the hope and promise of precision medicine in academic journey articles, NFCR is the only cancer-related charity that is actually funding the “high risk/high reward” research breakthroughs that will translate these breakthroughs into new treatments and diagnostics for cancer. We believe that 21st century medicine won’t be about blockbuster drugs, cancer diagnostics and treatments will be about matching therapies with the genetic mutations they’ve been designed to target, as if orphan diseases. New cancer diagnostics and treatments will not be blockbuster drugs, but molecules that modulate specific molecular targets—hence the term, “precision medicine”;—molecules that fit precisely targeted drugs to patient-specific molecular profiles.
It’s happening now.
Recent discoveries in the fields of cancer genomics and molecular signaling provide key opportunities that are likely to have a major impact in the treatment of cancers—all types of cancer. 21st century cancer therapies will be about where oncologists treat each cancer patient with an individually tailored treatment regimen based on his/her individual genetic make-up—AND that of each patient’s tumor. NFCR-funded scientists pioneered this approach to treating cancer, and have now integrated molecular-based diagnostics with medical informatics to identify molecular targets in individual patients that could rapidly be translated into a new approach to treating cancer.
The science is happening now, we still have to make it work with funding.
Cancer patients are not hearing about these breakthroughs because too many breakthrough discoveries are being met with a deafening silence; while all signs point to new molecularly based approaches as the “right way to go” for preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer, demonstrating of the efficacy of molecular diagnostics in tandem with the new targeted and immuno-cancer therapies—flies in the face of historical trends in cancer research, i.e., the search for the blockbuster drug that will “cure” cancer, period.
Unless and until we can bring some currency to these breakthroughs, next-generation cancer therapies, diagnostics and prevention strategies will remain at the bench. So NFCR has incorporated AIM-HI Accelerator Fund, a hybrid 501(c)(3)|for-profit accelerator fund to accelerate the pace of developing new approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer—all types of cancer. NFCR→AIM HI Translational Research is a 501(c)(3) “pipeline” for cancer diagnostics|therapy development from the discovery phase through several stages of clinical evaluation, accelerating FDA approval and commercialization of these new approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer. AIM-HI Accelerator Fund is the hybrid infrastructure to make this pipeline real.
This is Bench to Bedside. NFCR→AIM HI Translational Research↔AIM HI Accelerator Fund is revolutionizing 21st Century Medicine. This is a new vision for funding scientific research, an example of impact investing and the role of charity in transforming 21st Century Healthcare.
AIM HI funds early stage oncology startups chosen out of those developed by NFCR’s supported scientists and academic institutional participants. NFCR’s network of seasoned clinical development and oncology investment experts will help vet, select and manage the process. AIM HI partners with pre-selected Contract Research Organizations (CROs) with the specific expertise to conduct intensive iterative aspects of research and development to pharma standards so that there may not be the need for pharma to repeat experiments.