The National Foundation for Cancer Research funds “high risk|high reward” research with a singular focus on one absolute and immutable goal: research to cure cancer – cures for all types of cancer. Since 1973 with grass roots support of Americans NFCR has been a catalyst for the discovery of the kinds of “disruptive innovations” that are both accelerating breakthroughs in healthcare and bringing hope and promise to patients suffering with cancer.
However, too many of these breakthroughs in cancer research have been met with a deafening silence, sitting inside the laboratories, not able to get to the clinics.
This deafening silence must be addressed if we hope to translate these breakthroughs to patients, and that must be done where we sleep—in our communities.
While the traditional focus of NFCR research funding has been to support innovative basic science cancer research at universities and research hospitals, but, unless and until we can bring these innovations into the clinic to gain FDA approval, next-generation cancer therapies, diagnostics and prevention strategies will remain at the bench.
We are now at the fruition point of past several decades’ advances of genomic based research, with so many innovations waiting to go into commercialization. However, these early stage areas are extremely risky with very high fail rate. Traditional venture capitalists and large pharmaceutical companies are not willing to take the risks.
We need a paradigm shift in accelerating cancer prevention, treatment and care, and that is why NFCR has launched the AIM-HI Accelerator Fund as a new model to raise and provide sustainable funding to allow these disruptive innovations to be advanced from laboratory bench to patients at their bedside, through the so-called “valley of death”. The AIM-HI Accelerator Fund is a new model which harnesses the power of business leaders and philanthropists in the US and worldwide by utilizing venture philanthropy and impact investments. We are creating an evergreen model of funding innovations and their commercialization!