Since the fall, LLS has announced it has committed more than $60 million to fund new grants to support a wide range of research projects in academic centers throughout the world. This research spans all of the blood cancers and our goal is to advance myriad approaches to tackling the challenge of improving outcomes for cancer patients. The length of time of the grants ranges from one to six years.
We most recently announced the first round of grants in our new Quest for Cures program, a collaboration with Celgene Corporation, to fund research focused on the molecular causes of blood cancers and how to identify those patients who are most likely to respond to particular therapies.
The Screen to Lead program is designed to help researchers turn chemicals into drugs that can be tested to further prove their potential effectiveness in treating blood cancers. The New Idea Award supports researchers with innovative ideas for substantially different approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with blood cancers – the kind of approaches that are too early to receive funding from federal agencies.
Our Translational Research Program (TRP) drives discoveries from the laboratory into clinical trials, where they can be tested and developed into safe new treatments to prolong and enhance patients’ lives. We identified six areas of unmet medical need and awarded 21 grants totaling $12.6 million under this program. We also awarded an additional $11 million in TRP grants to researchers doing work in areas outside of these six areas of study.
Our most ambitious academic grant program is the Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) program. These grants create teams of leading academic investigators who work together and are focused on a specific research goal. We announced four new SCOR teams in September, with a commitment to invest $6.25 million in each team over five years.
Hand-in-hand with academic grants, our Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP) continues to forge business alliances with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to fund investigational new drug-enabling studies and clinical-stage projects. Recognizing that therapies were not getting to patients fast enough, LLS created TAP in 2007, where we interface directly with biotechnology companies to help bridge the gap and move innovative biomedical discoveries more quickly from the laboratory into clinical trials and ultimately, to patients.
LLS is driving our research agenda through an ambitious, strategic and proactive approach. We are investing in the best and brightest scientists as they seek to better understand the disease biology that drives blood cancer and develop the best therapies to help patients live better, longer lives. We are committed to achieving our vision of a world without blood cancers.