Inside Milken’s Collaborative Approach to Disease Funding

The Milken Family Foundation may be best known for its educator awards, which recognize prominent teachers and have been around since the 80s, but this outfit is a big cancer funder, too. One disease funding vehicle that Milken supports is FasterCures, the D.C.-based center of the Milken Institute aimed at accelerating and improving systems of medical research. FasterCures isn’t cancer-specific, but rather has broader goals of accelerating cures for a wide variety of diseases.

The Milken Family Foundation’s FasterCures “Partnering for Cures” Global Conference recently took place, with over 750 stakeholders in attendance. The purpose of this program is to bring together decision makers across many different diseases who are passionate about getting new treatments to patients in a complex and underfunded system. Although MFF doesn’t accept unsolicited grant requests, we do have an understanding of the type of programs and institutions it likes to fund.

These are some of the most important things that the Milken team cares about regarding diseases:

  • Cutting roadblocks that slow medical progress.
  • Cross-sector collaboration.
  • Engaging patients in research.
  • Reducing costs of getting new therapies to patients.
  • Shared data technologies.

The recent conference was attended by Napster founder Sean Parker, U.S. Representative Fred Upton, NIH Director Francis Collins, and lots of others in biotech, big pharma, public policy, academia and the nonprofit world. You can watch some videos and articles linked to the hashtag #FCP4C to get a sense of the perspectives involved. There are a lot of different forces coming together for a many different causes around a common goal, and that seems to be exactly what Milken is looking for.

Generally speaking, MFF’s medical research funding priority is all about advancing and supporting basic and applied medical research—especially in the field of cancer—to discover causes, treatments and ultimately cures. To learn more about this funder, read IP’s full profile, Milken Family Foundation: Grants for Disease.