Sean Parker has announced a $250million grant to develop cancer-fighting treatments.
The Silicon Valley billionaire who co-founded music sharing website Napster at the age of 19 and later became the founding president of Facebook. He announced the huge donation to the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy on Wednesday (13Apr16).
Immunotherapy uses the body's own immune system to fight cancer, and is considered one of the most promising areas of emerging cancer research. The project is an ambitious bid to speed up the development of cancer-fighting drugs and increase collaboration among researchers.
"We'll make progress against three or four cancer types in the next several years," Parker tells The Associated Press (AP).
The newly created Parker Institute brings together partners at six top academic cancer centers, dozens of drug companies and other groups.
More than 40 laboratories and more than 300 researchers and immunologists will participate in the project, including six top cancer centers: Memorial Sloan Kettering, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, Stanford, UCLA and UCSF.
Parker told CNNMoney in June (15) he wanted to see a philanthropic model where big problems are identified and bold, risky investments are made to attack them, and that charities should be run more like startups - and be willing to fail, openly.
"In any other field outside of philanthropy, if a company released a product and just continued to insist that it was working when it wasn't - and didn't listen to feedback from customers and didn't change - they would probably fail," Parker said.