Grants & Programs

Our Model & Strategy

An elegant solution

Clinical Accelerator is a next-generation charitable model designed to maximize donor impact:

  • A dedicated focus on what is widely regarded as the single most promising area in cancer research today
  • Serves a true unmet need—facilitating the study and development of treatments across companies
  • Each investment immediately brings a novel cutting-edge treatment to patients battling cancer
  • Scientific strategies led by ~60 of the top cancer scientists and clinicians in the world
  • Collaborative global effort designed to bring the best capabilities of industry and academia together
  • The Cancer Research Institute Venture Fund structures its investments to generate significant future returns on investment back to the nonprofit fund so that the philanthropic model can become self-sustaining over a 5-7 year time horizon
  • Comprehensive scientific, business, and legal due diligence prior to all prospective investments

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Here's how it works

Cancer Research Institute and Ludwig Cancer Research have built a global network of top scientists and clinicians who collaborate on immunotherapy research. Called the CVC, this prestigious team of experts from the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia identifies promising combinations of treatments that they wish to study and ultimately bring to people living with cancer.

CRI and Ludwig then negotiate with biotech and pharma companies for the rights to include these priority immunotherapies in clinical trials. In exchange for agreeing to supply their drugs, biopharma partners gain access to valuable nonprofit funding, clinical management resources, and scientific expertise, all of which can significantly benefit their drug development efforts. By building access to a "menu" of top agents from different companies, CRI and Ludwig are able to initiate studies of complementary drugs, even if they are owned by different parties, helping researchers and cancer patients to gain access to state-of-the-art therapies that otherwise might not be available.

CRI and Ludwig then provide all the resources necessary for CVC researchers to launch clinical trials, including funding from CRI's nonprofit venture capital fund and Ludwig's experienced clinical trials management resources.

As supported immunotherapies become successful, biotech and pharma partners make milestone payments back to CRI's venture fund, enabling it to support future clinical trials led by the CVC so that the innovative model can continue.

Best of all, the model is already up and running and attracting world-class partners like MedImmune/AstraZeneca. By bringing together the best resources from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, cancer patients gain access to new life-saving treatments sooner.


How It Adds Value

It Connects. Foster collaboration and confidential discussion among top for-profit and nonprofit researchers with overlapping expertise, but that otherwise would be unlikely to collaborate and share insights.

It De-Risks. Employ nonprofit financial and clinical resources to de-risk potentially transformative immunotherapy studies that otherwise would not be pursued.

It Combines. Enable potentially synergistic drugs owned by disparate companies to be evaluated clinically, independent of any commercial transaction between the parties.

It Discovers. Empowering leading tumor immunologists to ask critical scientific questions in the clinical setting, with reagents academics normally would be unable to access.