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Friends of Cancer Research Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Friends of Cancer Research Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Honors Dr. Janet Woodcock, Dr. Eric Lander, and Mr. Sean Parker for Contributions to Cancer Research

Washington, DC, September 21, 2016 –  Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) will celebrate its 20th anniversary today at a special event in Washington DC. The event will honor Dr. Janet Woodcock, Dr. Eric Lander, and Mr. Sean Parker.

During the last 20 years, Friends has changed the way drugs are developed and reviewed, leading to a revolution in cancer care and research. The organization has worked tirelessly throughout the years to help ensure patients receive the best and most effective treatments in the fastest and safest way possible.

Receiving the Ellen V. Sigal Advocacy Leadership Award is Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • Dr. Woodcock is being honored for her dedication to patients by providing safe and timely drug reviews, her continued work on spearheading initiatives designed to improve drug safety management, and her expertise and commitment to cancer research.

“Dr. Woodcock is a longtime friend of the organization and a personal inspiration,” Sigal said. “She has been a stalwart at CDER throughout the years and there is no one more deserving of this award.”

Dr. Eric Lander and Mr. Sean Parker will each receive Friends of Cancer Research Cancer Leadership Awards for their efforts and contribution in the fight against cancer.

  • Dr. Lander is being honored for his work decoding a molecular taxonomy for cancers, which has allowed for an increased understanding of the molecular origins of these cancers. These taxonomies and increased understanding have in turn aided the design of more effective therapies.
  • Mr. Sean Parker has contributed significant time and money over the years to cancer research. He is being honored at the 20th anniversary for his dedication of $250M to start a new collaborative center focusing on cancer immunotherapy: The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. The goal of this new Institute is to enable real collaboration, accelerating the most ambitious research to deliver new immunotherapies engineered to save lives.

Friends Partnership with Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to Launch October 5

In addition to honoring its namesake, Friends will launch a partnership with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy by hosting a summit in early October. The summit, Optimizing the Use of Immunotherapy, aims to establish a collaborative trial to test multiple PD-1 inhibitors using a common control, outline a design for a study that could address resistance and refractoriness to PD-1 antibodies, and develop a standardized approach for optimal toxicity management of multiple PD-1 inhibitors.

“We have come a long way in the fight against cancer since I joined Friends 10 years ago,” said Jeff Allen, President & CEO of Friends. “Through our partnership with the Parker Institute and others, I have no doubt that we can continue to transform cancer care for the benefit of patients. I look forward to continuing to lead the fight against cancer here at Friends and in collaboration with so many others across the country.”

About Friends of Cancer Research
Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) drives collaboration among partners from every healthcare sector to power advances in science, policy and regulation that speed life-saving treatments to patients. For more information, please visit