Brown University and UCSF Researchers Win CureAccelerator Live! for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Clinical Repurposing Trials in Bladder Cancer and Seizures after Cardiac Arrest Receive Funding
CureAccelerator Live! for DEI
CureAccelerator Live! for DEI
CHICAGO - Oct. 10, 2022 - PRLog -- Dr. Edilberto Amorim representing University of California San Francisco and Dr. Sheldon Holder representing Brown University both won Cures Within Reach's CureAccelerator Live! for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion virtual philanthropic pitch event held October 6 – 7. Dr. Amorim's trial, "Testing the epilepsy drug perampanel to prevent seizures after cardiac arrest," will evaluate the safety and feasibility of perampanel for myoclonic seizure prevention following resuscitation from cardiac arrest.  Dr. Holder's trial, "Repurposing the prostate cancer drug degarelix to treat bladder cancer," will assess the efficacy of adding degarelix to the current standard therapy for androgen receptor-positive bladder cancer in order to improve patient outcomes.  If successful, results from both trials may be used to design larger, confirmatory clinical trials and/or support off-label use, which could then lead to a change in patient care post-cardiac arrest and in bladder cancer, respectively.  Both researchers will receive a grant that supports a $70,000 clinical repurposing trial from Cures Within Reach and the UCSF trial may receive additional funds for community engagement.

As a leading global nonprofit focused on repurposing research as a fast track to impacting patients, Cures Within Reach's CureAccelerator Live! competition showcases clinical repurposing trials that are ready to fund. Held in partnership with DIA's Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Across Life Sciences R&D Meeting, CureAccelerator Live! featured four researchers representing academic medical centers from across the US, and its attendees voted for the winning clinical repurposing trials impacting health disparities and/or led by an underserved racial/ethnic minority researcher.

"During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating normally and there is loss of blood flow to the brain. Damage to the brain can cause seizures, and nearly all patients with this complication die from it," said Dr. Amorim, Director of the Epilepsy Service at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. "We are thrilled for Cures Within Reach's support of a clinical trial focused on preventing seizures and accelerating recovery of patients with cardiac arrest."

"Thank you to Cures Within Reach and its philanthropic funding partners, for the patient-facing impactful work that you do" said Dr. Holder. "We are extremely excited to receive funding to target androgen signaling in bladder cancer. We believe that this clinical trial may potentially lead to a change in standard of care therapy for bladder cancer."

"These clinical trials highlight the opportunity that testing approved therapies can have on patients with rare diseases and health disparities issues as well as the catalytic impact of funding underserved minority clinicians and researchers across the US," said Barbara Goodman, President & CEO at Cures Within Reach. "We are thrilled to support both Drs. Amorim and Holder and hope to raise funding for the other two finalists later this year."

The other finalists who presented their repurposing trials at CureAccelerator Live! included:
  • Yohannes Ghebre, PhD of Baylor College of Medicine: A new use of the antacid drug esomeprazole to treat morphea, a chronic connective tissue disease
  • Natasha Shur, MD of Children's National Research Institute: Using steroids to improve outcomes in rhabdomyolysis in pediatric patients

Expert panelists from Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Harding University, Horizon Therapeutics and University of Illinois at Chicago represented clinicians, research, industry and philanthropy and helped attendees make a more informed voting decision.

Cures Within Reach is grateful for philanthropic and industry support for its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Community from Takeda Pharmaceuticals' Center for Health Equity and Patient Affairs, the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, Adtalem Global Education Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Horizon Therapeutics, Walder Foundation, Westlake Health Foundation, individual donors and others.

About Cures Within Reach
Cures Within Reach (CWR) is a US-based philanthropic leader improving patient quality and length of life by leveraging the speed, safety and cost-effectiveness of medical repurposing research: driving more treatments to more patients more quickly. CWR catalyzes research to facilitate and validate already approved therapies for new indications to create clinical impact. CWR provides seed funds for first in-human or pivotal studies that, when successful, allow a catalytic effect of additional follow-on trials and follow-on funding. CWR's 2022 main initiatives include focused efforts to impact Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Veterans; and Pediatrics. CWR currently has a global portfolio of 36 funded trials at 30 institutions in 26 diseases. Visit (

Clare Thibodeaux, PhD
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