Dendreon Corporation CEO Mitchell H. Gold to Receive 2011 Grace Award from Cancer Research Institute
CRI to honor Gold’s leadership in advancing first FDA-approved therapeutic cancer vaccine
NEW YORK, NY – August 17, 2011 – The Cancer Research Institute, Inc. (CRI), a U.S. nonprofit organization established in 1953 to advance the science of tumor immunology and drive the discovery of new cancer immunotherapies, announced today that Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Seattle biotech company Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN), will receive the 2011 Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research. This annual award recognizes the contributions of exceptionally dedicated individuals whose leadership has had significant impact on medical research, patient care, or public education.
“The April 2010 FDA approval of sipuleucel-T active cellular immunotherapy, or Provenge®, to treat prostate cancer patients with advanced disease marked a historic milestone for tumor immunotherapy,” says Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., chief executive officer and director of scientific affairs at CRI. “As the first therapeutic cancer vaccine to receive FDA approval, sipuleucel-T not only represents a significant advance in bringing a new class of immune system-based treatments to cancer patients, but also has helped provide a developmental roadmap for other promising cancer immunotherapies now in clinical trials that we expect will lead to more approvals in the near future.”
As president and CEO of Dendreon Corporation, Dr. Gold provided critical leadership and vision to the company as it sought to bring sipuleucel-T to market. Despite setbacks, the company succeeded where others had failed before, clearing key regulatory hurdles and surviving unanticipated delays in the approval process. The company also captured the support of patient advocates and the prostate cancer patient community, many of whom looked to Dendreon for hope in the face of few to no other treatment options.
“I am humbled by this honor, and am committed to continuing to change the way that cancer is treated,” says Dr. Gold. “The fight against cancer is a personal one, and it’s one that I know we can win, through advancements such as cancer immunotherapy. Now is the time that we must double down on our efforts to finish what we started 40 years ago in the war against cancer.”
Dr. Gold will receive the Grace Award at an evening gala hosted by the Cancer Research Institute on October 3, 2011, at 583 Park Avenue in New York City.
CRI will also present a 2011 Grace Award to Hollywood producer and cancer advocate Laura Ziskin, whose commitment to cancer awareness, research, and immunotherapy and passion for helping cancer patients find new hope inspired her leadership of the widely televised Stand Up To Cancer entertainment industry campaign. Ziskin, who died from breast cancer earlier this year, will receive the award posthumously at the CRI dinner.
The dinner will also include the presentations of the 2011 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology and the 2011 Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology. The Coley Award honors one or more scientists for outstanding achievements in the field of basic immunology and cancer immunology, and the Alt Award is presented annually to a former postdoctoral fellow of the Cancer Research Institute in recognition of outstanding success in academia or industry for research that may have a potentially major impact on immunology. CRI has not yet announced this year’s Coley and Alt Award winners.
More information about the event and the honorees will be made available on the Cancer Research Institute website at http://cancerresearch.org/events/awards-dinner-2011.
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About the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research
This award, established in 1995, recognizes the contributions of dedicated laypersons whose leadership has had a significant impact on cancer research. The award is named in memory of the late Oliver R. Grace, founding chairman of the Cancer Research Institute, whose vision, wisdom, and generosity benefited the Institute for nearly 40 years. Former Grace Award winners include, among other champions of cancer research: American fashion designer Michael Kors (2010); Andrew Witty (2010), CEO of GlaxoSmithKline; Fred Hassan (2009), chairman and CEO of Schering-Plough Corporation; Wade F.B. Thompson (2007), chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Thor Industries; Julian H. Robertson Jr. (2006), chairman, Tiger Management LLC; Katie Couric (2002), anchor of CBS Evening News; and Andrea Jung (2001), chief executive officer, Avon Products, Inc. To view a complete list of Grace Award recipients, go to http://www.cancerresearch.org/about/annual-awards/oliver-r-grace-award.
About the Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and eventually cure all cancers. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes three Nobel laureates and 26 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $263 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities, and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. To learn more, go to www.cancerresearch.org