Bezos Family Donates $710M to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

By THALIA BEATY, Associated Press

The Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center introduced a $710 million present from the Bezos household, the most important present the middle has ever obtained and one of many largest to go to any single most cancers analysis group in recent times.

The donation will fund 36 new analysis labs, the constructing of a big analysis facility, investments in medical trial infrastructure and immunotherapy analysis over ten years, the middle mentioned Wednesday.

Thomas Lynch, president and director of the middle, rebranded this month as Fred Hutch, however extensively referred to as The Hutch, mentioned he labored with Mike and Jackie Bezos, who made the present, to grasp what motivated their giving. Jackie Bezos is the mom of Amazon discovered Jeff Bezos, whereas her husband, Mike, is Jeff Bezos’ stepfather. Jeff Bezos, the world’s second wealthiest individual, stepped down from his function as CEO of Amazon in July 2021.

Lynch discovered the Bezos household deeply valued collaboration in analysis and remedy.

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“But don’t underestimate the significance of urgency,” Lynch mentioned in an interview. “Because I feel that’s one thing that I really feel passionately about and I do know that Mike and Jackie really feel passionately about with the ability to convey cures to sufferers quickly.”

The Bezos household has beforehand given virtually $68 million to The Hutch’s analysis since 2009, the middle mentioned. It declined to say whether or not Mike and Jackie Bezos had given by way of their basis or by way of one other entity. A communications agency that beforehand labored with the Bezos Family Foundation directed requests for remark again to The Hutch.

In an announcement, Mike Bezos praised the merger of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle Children’s Hospital and UW Medicine earlier this 12 months right into a unified grownup most cancers analysis middle.

“We hope our funding in The Hutch results in solutions for probably the most urgent medical questions,” Bezos mentioned. “We additionally hope this evokes others to affix us now in pursuing scientific and medical breakthroughs.”

This new donation comes as President Joe Biden has known as on the non-public sector and foundations to affix a reignited most cancers “moonshot” and transfer the U.S. nearer to the objective he set in February of reducing U.S. most cancers fatalities by 50% over the subsequent 25 years.

The dimension of the present and the investments in complementary areas are a testomony to the belief that philanthropists just like the Bezos household have within the educational group to ship worth again to society, mentioned Peter Kuhn, a most cancers researcher and professor on the University of Southern California.

“If you’re taking the friction out of the system of how an instructional establishment like The Hutch can work with its educational companions and industrial companions in each the therapeutic and the diagnostic world, that’s how we get acceleration,” Kuhn mentioned.

The middle hopes to speed up the tempo of medical trials, Lynch mentioned, with the purpose of reviewing and opening trials inside 90 days.

The work researchers and clinicians will be capable to do at The Hutch may even profit sufferers and researchers elsewhere within the nation, mentioned Nilofer S. Azad, an oncology professor on the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University.

“We can actually use scientific data in methods which can be sensible in the direction of altering affected person care, however that does require vital assets,” she mentioned

Fred Hutch, which merged with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in April, obtained one other main present in September of $78 million from Stuart and Molly Sloan, an indication philanthropic donations to the expanded middle are rising. In 2021, it reported that about $86.4 million or 8% of its total income of $984 million got here from philanthropic donations.

“Research provides you hope and offers us hope that choices is likely to be completely different for the subsequent sufferers down the highway,” Lynch mentioned.

AP Medical Writer Carla Okay. Johnson contributed from Washington state.

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