The former chief executive of Aussie has donated $1 million to a joint project between St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute focused on myeloma and other haematological diseases.
James Symond, the former CEO of broking franchise Aussie, attended a webinar on Friday (22 October) as a guest speaker, reflecting on his own personal health journey alongside Arthur Sinodinos AO, the Australian ambassador to the US, and the program leaders and clinicians from the two institutions leading the cellular therapy research.
The panel discussed the role of translational research in driving enhanced patient outcomes and how national and international collaborations are critical in accelerating and improving treatment options.
The webinar sought to raise funds for the cellular therapy research project, in which Mr Symond has already committed $1 million.
Mr Symond was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (a form of cancer affecting the bone marrow) in 2017 and underwent a bone marrow transfusion. He has previously credited St Vincent’s haematology team and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston as having been “instrumental” in his treatment.
St Vincent’s runs a leading cell therapies program using autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to improve treatment of severe autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis, scleroderma and lupus) as well as malignant cell diseases (leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma).
According to St. Vincent’s, Mr Symond’s donation to the cellular therapies collaborative project will help enable the “formalisation of this important collaboration”, which aims to:
A spokesperson for St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney told The Adviser: “During the last two years, St Vincent’s haematology team has formed a close working relationship with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, US.
“Drs John Moore and Georgia McCaughan have established a regular research meeting and close collaboration with Dr Paul Richardson – one of the world’s leading experts in multiple myeloma.
“Dana-Farber has for many years been a global leader in myeloma research, driving a revolution in myeloma care beginning with the approval of the drug bortezomib in 2003. In the 18 years since, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved 13 additional new medicines for the treatment of Myeloma – approvals secured in large part through the research of Dr Richardson and his colleagues at Dana-Farber.
“These new medicines have transformed the outlook for myeloma patients, enabling many to live three to four times longer than those in the pre-bortezomib era.
“St Vincent’s Curran Foundation, in partnership with Drs Moore, Richardson and McCaughan, have sought philanthropic backing to support the development of a formal collaborative partnership between St Vincent’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
“We are incredibly pleased to share that Mr James Symond has provided a visionary philanthropic gift which will enable the formalisation of this important collaboration.”
[Related: James Symond to leave Aussie]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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