A new generation of philanthropists, whose wealth was created via entrepreneurship in technology-driven fields, has the unique opportunity to make a real difference in speeding the pace of progress in the fight against cancer.
Not content with having hospital pavilions named for them or with giving large, open-ended gifts for academic research, they want to use their wealth to have a direct and visible impact on patients’ health. Research we have conducted has revealed a variety of new, high-impact investment approaches that can help accelerate the pace of the development, approval, and commercialization of new cancer therapies. By embracing these new approaches this new generation of philanthropists has the opportunity to truly help cure cancer.
The results-oriented attitude of the new generation of philanthropists couldn’t have come at a better time. Rapid advances in precision medicine and immunotherapy are ushering in a new era in the treatment and cure of many cancers. And new approaches to philanthropy, often termed impact investing, have emerged as a path to meet their goals.
As part of our work with the Harvard Business School-Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, funded by a $20 million gift from the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation, we have been studying these approaches. It is our belief that they have the potential to dramatically speed the pace at which more and more cancers are either cured or become chronic, rather than deadly, conditions.