Sean Parker Partners With Cancer Research Institute To Advance Research

By Reina Ilagan

Dec 03, 2016 09:16 AM EST

Former Facebook president and Napster founder Sean Parker pushes for the use of cutting-edge immunotherapy to solve cancer. Through the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, he sealed a partnership with the Cancer Research Institute to use predictive algorithms in in finding neoantigens, the markers that cancerous tumors carry.

Parker's cancer institute was set up as a collaborative endeavor between six research universities and cancer centers, with efforts focused on cancer research. Its partnership with Cancer Research Institute, however, will specifically work on bioinformatics to uncover cancer markers. The project aims to accelerate the advancement of researches on immunotherapy, a type of treatment that harnesses the body's own immune response to combat cancerous cells.

The partnership will gather more than 30 public and private pharmaceutical, biotech, cancer research nonprofits and academic institutions. Among the institutions taking part in the research are prestigious organizations such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Caltech, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Washington University School of Medicine.

"Bringing together the world's best neoantigen research organizations to accelerate the discovery of personalized cancer immunotherapies is exactly the type of bold research collaboration that I envisioned when launching the Parker Institute," Parker said.

"This alliance will not only leverage the immense talents of each of the researchers but will also harness the power of bioinformatics, which I believe will be critical to driving breakthroughs," he added.

The participating institutions will receive genetic sequences from both cancerous and non-cancerous tissues. Through testing, they will find and validate which ones are likely to be recognizable by T-cells. Data gained from the research may lead to the development of a potential cancer vaccine.

Parker has already donated $250 million to his research institute, which is one of the many charities he has set up the last year. He has also been supporting other medical researches such as that for diabetes and allergies.

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