2016 Global Health Repurposing Awards Raises Funds, Honors Leaders Creating Patient Impact

Cures Within Reach President Dr. Bruce Bloom makes a call-to-action for more clinicians and other healthcare provider involvement in repurposing research on the CureAccelerator platform™
GHRA 2016 Collage
GHRA 2016 Collage
SKOKIE, Ill. - July 7, 2016 - PRLog -- More than 225 stakeholders from science, business and philanthropy gathered on June 21 at Chicago's Montgomery Club for the Global Health Repurposing Awards to celebrate the promise of repurposing research and the collective commitment to quickly and affordably creating treatments for the thousands of unsolved diseases that exist across the globe.

"We have never been at a better time for orphan and rare diseases because of the innovations taking place today involving new and existing drugs, " said Mark J. Alles, CEO of Celgene, presenting sponsor of the Global Health Repurposing Awards. "Medicine allows us to bring together all of the tools we have to deal with these issues and create lifesaving value for patients."

Emceed by WGN's Micah Materre, more than $150,000 was raised from sponsors, attendees, live auction, paddle raise and silent auction to support the mission and programs of Cures Within Reach (www.cureswithinreach.org), the global philanthropic leader catalyzing repurposing research as a fast track to saving patient lives. Dr. Bruce Bloom, President and Chief Science Officer at Cures Within Reach, updated the group on several exciting initiatives the organization is working on for 2017, including a first-ever social impact bond initiative that would create a new economic engine for the repurposing of inexpensive and widely available generic drugs for rare diseases. He also made a call-to-action to clinicians to become more involved in repurposing research.

"We know that 20 percent of all prescriptions in the U.S. are written off-label, which means the drug is being prescribed for a repurposing use," said Dr. Bloom. "Right now there's nowhere for physicians to quickly and easily share what's working in the world of repurposing, so we are expanding our CureAccelerator platform (www.CureAccelerator.org) to include a simple case report form specifically for off-label successes, and we are creating new partnerships that will inspire more clinicians to share their findings."

Three outstanding leaders were also recognized for creating patient impact through scientific, business and philanthropic achievements. This year's featured awardees were:

•        ---  Dr. Jerome B. Zeldis, Chief Medical Officer of Celgene Corporation & CEO of Celgene Global Health, received the Patient Impact Legacy Award in honor of his work to repurpose Celgene therapies for diseases in the developing world.

•        ---  Nick Sireau, Chairman of the AKU Society, with Professor Lakshminarayan Ranganath, received the Patient Impact Philanthropic Award in honor of their fundraising to support the clinical trial repurposing nitisinone for Alkaptonuria.

•        ---  Marty St. Clair, Viiv Healthcare, received the Janet Davidson Rowley Patient Impact Research Award in honor of her discovery repositioning AZT for HIV.

The 2017 Global Health Repurposing Awards, being planned for June 27, 2017, will be dedicated to repurposing in rare diseases. We look forward to leadership and participation from our partners at the National Institutes of Health, as well as industry and rare disease organizations from around the globe.

Sponsors of the Global Health Repurposing Awards included Celgene (Premier Sponsor), Takeda Pharmaceuticals, (Diamond Sponsor), Horizon Pharma plc. (Gold Sponsor), PwC (Gold Sponsor), Beecken Petty O'Keefe & Company (Gold Sponsor), HuLow Medical  LLC (Silver Sponsor), Mavens (Silver Sponsor), Rediscovery Life Sciences (Silver Sponsor), Camargo Pharmaceutical Services (Bronze Sponsor), Millco Investments (Bronze Sponsor), Aptinyx (Bronze Sponsor), Steve Braun (Bronze Sponsor), Golan & Christie (Bronze Sponsor) and Rachel & David Grund (Bronze Sponsor).

The 2016 event committee included Kristina Allikmets, Takeda Pharmaceuticals; Steven L. Braun, Northwestern Mutual; John Collins, iBio Institute; Dimitri Drone, PwC; Stephen Groft, NCATS, NIH; Edward Kahn, Rediscovery Life Sciences; Norbert Riedel, Aptinyx Inc.; Michael S. Rosen, Rosen BioScience Strategies; Adrianna Sax, Fortress Biotech; Nancy S. Searle, Civic Consulting Alliance; and Timothy P. Walbert, Horizon Pharma Plc.


Cures Within Reach (http://www.cureswithinreach.org) works to catalyze repurposing research to quickly and affordably improve patient lives. We accomplish this through collaborations that connect researchers and funding, by facilitating crowd sourcing and community, and by identifying alternative financing models and incentives.
Cures Within Reach's repurposing research projects have generated 13 "new" treatments making an impact through off-label use in clinical practice or through a commercialization track.


Cures Within Reach built CureAccelerator (http://www.cureaccelerator.org) to provide a global collaboration space and market for repurposing research that can deliver effective solutions to unsolved diseases. The CureAccelerator platform was built with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to explore whether drugs, devices and nutriceuticals approved for one or more human diseases can be repurposed to create "new" treatments in other diseases.  CureAccelerator has almost 1000 users who have proposed over 100 projects, of which more than a dozen are already funded and moving towards patient impact.

Visit us at www.cureswithinreach.org or follow us via Twitter.com/CuresWReach (http://www.twitter.com/CuresWReach), LinkedIn.com/company/cures-within-reach (http://www.linkedin.com/company/cures-within-reach), YouTube.com/cureswithinreach (http://www.youtube.com/cureswithinreach) or Facebook.com/CuresWithinReach (http://www.facebook.com/CuresWithinReach).

Kristin Deuber
Director of Media Relations
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