Our mission is to end children's cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated time frame.
Improve children's cancer treatment and cures to deliver the potential for childhood cancer patients to lead long, healthy lives.
When I first began my position as President and CEO of CureSearch in 2012, I was already passionate about advancing healthcare through bold and innovative ideas. But my passion only grew when I learned that for several complex obstacles, great research was not turning into new treatments for children.
Childhood cancer continues to be the #1 disease killer of children, and in the last 20 years, there have only been three cancer treatments specifically developed and approved for children.
This means most children are treated with dose-adjusted adult treatments and that most survivors experience devastating side effects of their too-toxic treatments. There is simply a lack of effective, less-toxic treatments available to children who need them the most.
This is because of many reasons - lack of collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry, small pediatric cancer population sizes, and a challenging clinical trial system. But the main reason is because children's cancer research often dies in the "Valley of Death" - the gap before clinical testing and drug development, where research falls without the funding and support to launch clinical trials and become commercialized treatments, broadly available to children.
Knowing all of this, and acknowledging that we have the dedication, expertise, and team of experts needed to accelerate the commercialization of children's cancer treatments, we created the CureSearch Catapult Strategy.
Our goal: to protect the future of children diagnosed with cancer by delivering better, less toxic treatments.
As parents, we never want to see our child hurting, in pain, or struggling to succeed. As humans, we want the same for any other child, especially one diagnosed with cancer. That is why we created Catapult.
I hope you will join us in this journey to catapult great research out of the lab and into the clinic to save children NOW.
CureSearch for Children's Cancer
The CureSearch Difference
We're not just here to fund research, we're here to drive patient impact.
We provide children and families with the tools and resources they need to battle cancer today, while advancing new + better treatments to protect their future.
We catapult great research out of the laboratory, over the 'Valley of Death' and into clinical trials and commercialization, to the point where new treatments broadly reach children.
We convene leaders across sectors (academia, pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies, patients) to collaboratively advance better, less toxic treatments.
Our Brain Trust is unmatched through our Scientific, Industry and Catapult Advisory Councils.
We invest in large-scale, multi-year grants, which allow our researchers to focus on their work, not fundraising.
We hold ourselves - and CureSearch researchers - accountable through a novel measurement framework and frequent reporting to our constituents.
We build strong, long-term partnerships with our funded researchers so that successful work is supported beyond the scope of their original CureSearch grant.
Propelling Discoveries with CureSearch Catapult
In the past 20 years, few treatments for children's cancer have been approved because children's cancer research often dies in what is known as the 'Valley of Death.' This high potential research rarely makes it into human clinical trials and commercialization, the point at which treatments are broadly available to children.
CureSearch for Children's Cancer will catapult great research out of the lab and into the clinic to quickly advance better, less toxic treatments to children.
The Catapult strategy extends the continuum of children's cancer research, building on our existing interventions in the research pipeline through the Young Investigators portfolio (early-stage discovery) and the Acceleration Initiative (translational research).
Now, through the Catapult Strategy, we will arm researchers with the funding, knowledge and connections to catapult promising treatments out of academia and into pediatric clinical trials and eventual commercialization. In this way, CureSearch will advance better, less toxic treatments to children, ensuring they not only survive cancer, but also live long, healthy lives.
In the complex world of children's cancer research, no independent organization currently coordinates efforts between academic scientists, drug developers and policy regulators to advance new treatments. Through Catapult, CureSearch is proud to play the role of convener and collaborator to bring these key parties together in a way that is singularly focused on accelerating the commercialization of children's cancer treatments to save children NOW.
CureSearch Brain Trust - Our Councils
CureSearch relies on the expertise of leading clinicians, scientists, industry experts and business leaders to inform the Catapult Strategy by providing objective expertise and thought-leadership:
Scientific Advisory Council
Sets the academic priorities for Catapult and evaluates projects on scientific merit.
Richard O'Reilly, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Industry Advisory Council
Champions pediatric cancer within industry, evaluates projects on likelihood of development, and provides industry expertise to Catapult researchers.
Scientific Review Committee
Provides rigorous peer review of research proposals, evaluating: scientific merits, innovation, unmet need and clinical impacts.
Stephen Sallan, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Catapult Advisory Council
Supports the development and operation of the Catapult Impact Fund.
Abundant Venture Partners
The Catapult Summit
Menlo Park, CA
Convening the right players to save children NOW
The 2nd Annual Catapult Summit took place on February 26 and 27, 2017. CureSearch convened 80 key stakeholders from academia, industry, regulatory agencies, venture capital and advocacy to move Catapult to the next level and drive more treatments to the clinic and into commercialization.
CureSearch Research Programs Accelerate Drug Development
Our research programs are designed to drive promising discoveries from academic labs into the clinic, leading to drug development and commercialization. CureSearch invests in high-impact, innovative research projects to accelerate the delivery of more, less toxic treatments to children. These projects represent the research pipeline continuum from basic drug discovery, preclinical development, all the way to clinical trials, drug development and commercialization.
The Young Investigators portfolio provides seed funding for early discovery-stage researchers to keep the brightest minds working in pediatric cancer while arming them with the tools and knowledge to pursue drug development.
Since 2012, CureSearch has invested $2.55M in the Young Investigator Program, funding 18 awards leading to new discoveries and potential new treatments for kids.
Young Investigator Cumulative Impacts
Young Investigator Program in Drug Development
To support and educate Young Investigators in pediatric cancer drug development, CureSearch launched a Request for Applications in May 2017. Features of the program:
Grant applications will be reviewed by our Scientific and Industry Advisory Councils to select projects with the highest impact and highest potential for drug development and commercialization. Applications will be reviewed over the summer and awards will be announced later this year.
The Acceleration Initiative addresses the largest obstacles in children's cancer research, driving translational research to the clinic in a short time frame. Grant applications are reviewed by our Scientific and Industry Advisory Councils to ensure the highest impact research and highest potential for drug development and commercialization.
Since 2013, CureSearch has awarded 6 AI grants totaling nearly $7M that are moving the needle towards clinical application of new treatments.
Acceleration Initiative Cumulative Impacts
Catapult Impact Fund Awards
The Catapult Impact Fund Awards will:
- Provide funding for "clinic-ready" Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in pediatric cancer that test novel agents or combinations of therapies for areas of highest unmet need.
- Support investigator-initiated and collaborative trials between academia and industry, de-risk projects from small biotech companies and spin-out companies to develop drugs for pediatric indications.
- Help CureSearch launch a general Catapult Award Request for Applications later this year.
The Catapult Ignition Project is the First of Our Catapult Impact Fund Awards
We are evaluating two projects as finalists. A decision on the final project will be made later this summer.
Community Impact Awards
- CureSearch is committed to protecting the future of every child with cancer. This goes far beyond treatment. We know that patients, and their families, need help to cope with the burdens of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. That is why we support local hospitals to provide psychosocial services to patients and families.
- In 2015 and 2016, CureSearch supported 27 projects at hospitals across the US through our Community Impact Awards, totaling over $600,000.
- CureSearch is proud to continue the program in 2017. A new request for applications will open in July and awards will be announced in the Fall.
Our work would not be possible without the extraordinary support of the following partners, including their generous employees and customers:
Research Grant Partners
Mathile Family Foundation
Corn Endowment (Georgia Regents University)
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
Alan B. Slifka Foundation
Rising Tide For Clinical Cancer Research
Donor Funds & Gifts
We are grateful to the families who have established a Champion or Legacy Fund to honor their child:
We kicked off our new Superheroes Unite! program this year with three great events so far: Miami, Southwest Michigan, and Omaha. We have 13 more events scheduled this year, so there's still time to get involved.
Hike events are off to a great start this year! The Foothills Ultimate Hike broke attendance records and was our most attended hike event to date - with 67 participants. We have four more Hikes for 2017.