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Please note that some translations using Google Translate may not be accurately represented and downloaded documents cannot be translated. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund assume no liability for inaccuracies that may result from using this third-party tool, which is for website translation.

$10 million gift brings rare cancers to the fore

The MLL complex (above) is an epigenetic modifying complex against which recently developed drugs have shown significant clinical activity in patients with relapsed leukemia. Here, the drug (pink) disrupts the interaction between two of the MLL complex proteins (green and blue). Such advances exemplify the work that will take place in a new Center for Therapeutic Discovery.

Summer 2023
By Kathy Clute
Photography by Sam Ogden, Bryce Vickmark

The Linde Family Foundation has made a transformative $10 million gift to Dana-Farber to launch the Center for Therapeutic Discovery, which will develop novel therapies for patients with rare and hard-to-treat cancers. 

“Drug discovery for rare cancers often goes unaddressed because the market is perceived to be too small,” said Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD, who co-directs the new center with Eric Fischer, PhD. “This generous support from the Linde Family Foundation allows Dana-Farber to invest in novel therapeutic projects with a focus on impact, not profit, delivering new options and hope for patients facing the toughest cancers.” Accelerating drug development is a key strategic priority of The Dana-Farber Campaign.

Investigators across Dana-Farber will be invited to submit their most promising drug candidates to the new center for focused funding and expert support. Each year, the center’s staff and its distinguished advisory panel will select two to five projects to be shepherded through the preclinical pipeline and further toward clinical trials. Drug candidates will be chosen based on their ability to address pediatric and adult cancers with poor treatment outcomes.

Scott Armstrong, MD, PhD.

“This level of funding and expertise is rare in academic medicine,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, president and CEO of Dana-Farber and the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine. “With the resources and know-how provided by the team at the Center for Therapeutic Discovery, our scientists’ most significant breakthroughs can advance from the bench to the bedside for the benefit of patients everywhere. We are so grateful for the Linde family’s partnership in this pioneering venture.”

This latest gift, and the center it launched, builds on the family’s prior support of the Institute’s Chemical Biology Program and the Department of Pediatric Oncology.

“Dana-Farber is a leader in innovation and drug discovery,” said Karen Linde Packman, Dana-Farber Trustee and a member of The Dana-Farber Campaign Cabinet. “It is our hope that this gift will bring discoveries even closer to the clinic, leading to new treatments for pediatric and adult cancers.”

Eric Fischer, MD.

The new center is a strategic priority for Dana-Farber, which expects to invest $40 million—from philanthropic and Institute resources—in the venture during the next five years. The Linde Family Foundation stands ready to provide an additional $5 million grant to support the center if the Institute reaches specific milestones.

“It is our hope that this gift will lead to new treatments for pediatric and adult cancers.”

Karen Linde Packman, Linde Family Foundation

The center’s co-directors are two of Dana-Farber’s leaders in drug discovery. Armstrong, who chairs the Department of Pediatric Oncology and is the David G. Nathan, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, has made seminal discoveries into the causes of pediatric leukemia and the epigenetic mechanisms that lead to cancer in children. Fischer is director of Dana-Farber’s Chemical Biology Program and a world-renowned expert in cutting-edge approaches to structural and chemical biology, including targeted protein degradation.

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