$20 Million Gift from Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Establishes New Model for Cancer Immunotherapy.
City of Hope Cancer Center has received a $20 million grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. The naming gift will establish the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology, an innovative research center dedicated to immunotherapy, a treatment that uses the immune system to fight cancer and other diseases.
Of the $20 million gift, $15 million is a match of an anonymous donor's gift, while $5 million is a challenge grant to be matched by new donations.
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation grant accelerates City of Hope's efforts to build a fully integrated research facility that will house scientists focused on tumor immunology and translational research, the conversion of basic science discoveries into novel diagnostic methods and treatments for patients.
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center will provide space and resources for scientists in City of Hope's Division of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology (CITI). Within the center, scientists will research new treatment ideas, manufacture biologic agents on site and conduct preclinical testing and clinical trials.
"This generous and visionary gift will help enable major advances in the development of new and improved therapies for patients with cancer," said Michael A. Friedman, M.D., president and chief executive officer, City of Hope. "The creation of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology demonstrates commitment by both the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and City of Hope to play a key role in an emerging field that holds great promise for patients facing life-threatening diseases."
"The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is pleased to be able to continue our support of City of Hope and the new Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology," stated Ambassador George L. Argyros, chairman of the board of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. "The center will dramatically expand the scope of immunotherapy and translational research at City of Hope and will provide a framework for expanding government and private research support. City of Hope continues to better mankind through its translational scientific research. Identified by Dr. Arnold O. Beckman in the early 1980s as one of the nation's leading scientific research institutions, I am confident that he and Mrs. Beckman would be proud to recognize City of Hope with this gift."
The futuristic-looking five-story, 108,000-square-foot center will be designed by architect Ralph E. Johnson, a highly respected designer of science and technology facilities. The first floor of the building will be home to City of Hope's Graduate School of Biological Sciences and include conference and dining facilities for scientific staff. The center will be located in the heart of the City of Hope campus, facilitating contact between investigators and clinicians to move scientific discoveries quickly from the lab to patients. Groundbreaking for the new building is scheduled for early 2007.
The grant to City of Hope builds on two decades of support from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. In 1983, the foundation invested $10 million to establish and endow Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope - the first of five such institutes nationwide.
"We are pleased that the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is continuing its longstanding commitment to scientific discovery at City of Hope," said Andrew Raubitschek, M.D., CITI chair. "This new facility will strengthen our basic science efforts in areas such as tumor immunology, while speeding the outstanding work of our scientists directly to the hands of physicians to benefit patients more quickly than ever before."
The wide array of disciplines represented at the center - from hematology to molecular biology - will promote collaboration and innovation. CITI researchers will bring together their expertise to focus on four key investigational areas:
--Radioimmunotherapy: Scientists use genetically engineered monoclonal antibodies utilizing methodology developed by Arthur Riggs, Ph.D., director of Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope. These antibodies carry radioactive isotopes directly to cancerous cells. Antibodies are proteins that seek out specific foreign invaders, such as bacteria, and help destroy them. City of Hope pioneered radioimmunotherapy by developing an antibody that recognizes a marker on the surface of cancer cells, making it useful for targeting tumors.
--Cellular Immunotherapy: Immune cells are genetically reprogrammed to seek out and destroy specific cancers. City of Hope scientists were the first to conduct clinical trials with reprogrammed T-cells to attack lymphoma, neuroblastoma and glioma.
--Molecular Immunotherapy: Researchers studying molecular immunotherapy aim to advance the potential of monoclonal antibodies. Designer proteins are created that fuse two molecules - one seeks out a tumor and the other triggers the immune system to attack the tumor.
--Vaccine Immunotherapy: City of Hope is at the forefront of developing and testing new vaccines that will supercharge the body's immune system against breast, prostate, lung and gastrointestinal cancers.
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation's $20 million gift is a critical part of City of Hope's $100 million fundraising campaign for the center. Additional gifts include the $15 million anonymous gift, a $2 million bequest from longtime City of Hope supporter Norma Connick and a $1.5 million bequest from longstanding backer Marcelle S. Schwartz.
About the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation
Founded in 1977, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation makes grants to program-related, nonprofit research institutions to promote research in chemistry and the life sciences, broadly interpreted, and particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.
About City of Hope
City of Hope is one of the world's leading research and treatment centers for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best medical centers for cancer treatment, City of Hope is a Comprehensive Cancer Center, the highest designation bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics. City of Hope's scientific knowledge is shared with medical centers locally and globally, helping patients battling life-threatening diseases. For more information, visit www.cityofhope.org.
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|Date:||Mar 21, 2006|
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