Ex-Facebook President Sean Parker pledges $250million to research immunotherapy for cancer treatment

Sean Parker, the billionaire co-founder of Napster, is donating $250 million to create The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, with the ambitious goal of making the disease curable.

The news Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy will aim to accelerate the development of immunotherapy, whereby a patient's own immune system is used to fight cancer cells. The field is being researched for all cancers including brain tumours.

Parker's Institute will have around 300 involve about 300 researchers based in in 40 laboratories across six cancer centres.

Speaking to The New York Times, Parker highlighted his aim is collaboration of research: “How do we get more therapies to market faster and more cheaply?” The Institute will be a “blueprint for biomedical research funding.”

The Institute's approach will operate a new research model based around intellectual rights: “Each of the six academic centres will own the intellectual property from its work, the Parker Institute will manage the patents and their licensing to companies. Some of the proceeds will go toward future research by the Parker Institute and be shared by all the academic centers, giving them an incentive to cooperate rather than compete,” quoted the New York Times.

The $250million donation is the largest ever towards cancer immunotherapy and one of the largest ever to cancer research.

“This is my primary philanthropic project probably for the rest of my life,” he said.

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