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New Funding & Partnership Bolsters Support for First Global Adaptive Clinical Trial Platform for Brain Cancer Patients

2019-05-01

With new partnership agreement and philanthropic support, National Brain Tumor Society and StacheStrong make an additional investment into innovative GBM AGILE clinical trial


National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), the largest nonprofit dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States, today announced a second round of funding for the GBM AGILE clinical trial. Together with the nonprofit glioblastoma (GBM) advocacy group, StacheStrong, and additional major gift support, NBTS is investing $500,000 to assist in the operationalization and launch of GBM AGILE (Glioblastoma Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment), the world’s first global “adaptive” clinical trial for brain cancer.

Following a previous investment of $750,000 in GBM AGILE announced in January, NBTS’s total support for this novel approach to GBM clinical trials and drug development now totals $1.25 million.

“We strongly believe that new approaches are desperately needed to advance more, safe and effective treatments for glioblastoma patients,” said David Arons, Chief Executive Officer, National Brain Tumor Society. “Glioblastoma is one of the most stubborn and challenging cancers there is and, to date, efforts to improve patient survival have largely been unsuccessful. It is our hope that GBM AGILE will be a critical vehicle for transforming the clinical realities of this devastating disease, and that with our support and that of committed and energetic new partners like our friends at StacheStrong, we will soon begin to realize its many benefits to the brain cancer field.”

Brothers Colin and GJ Gerner formed StacheStrong in 2018 to raise funds and awareness for brain cancer research following GJ’s glioblastoma diagnosis in 2017. Growing mustaches and living “StacheStrong” became the Gerner brother’s motto and rallying cry to celebrate GJ’s tenacity and strength.

“Being in a position to not only provide hope for families and patients diagnosed with GBM, but also be a catalyst for change by collaborating with NBTS to help launch GBM AGILE is something I’m truly passionate about,” said Colin Gerner, President and Founder of StacheStrong. “I dream of a day where someone diagnosed with GBM doesn’t have to go through what I’ve seen my brother, GJ, endure.”

GBM AGILE is sponsored by the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR), a nonprofit organization comprised of some of the world’s foremost clinical, translational, and basic science investigators. National Brain Tumor Society, National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), and now Stachestrong are working together with GCAR as GBM AGILE prepares to begin enrolling patients.

“We are determined, as partners, to launch GBM AGILE and make a difference for brain tumor patients,” said Faramarz Yousefzadeh, Chairman of the GCAR Board of Directors, who lost his wife to brain cancer and has provided his own personal financial support for the GBM AGILE trial. “We welcome StacheStrong to an ever-growing list of supporters for GBM AGILE and thank the Gerners and NBTS for the encouragement and critical resources they are providing to prepare for the opening this historic trial. With the best minds in glioblastoma research and treatment, as well as the passion of the patient advocacy community behind us, we can maximize the potential of GBM AGILE to deliver improved outcomes for those diagnosed with glioblastoma.”

GBM AGILE was first conceived in 2015 by an international group of more than 130 clinicians, researchers, biostatisticians, imagers, pathologists, patient advocates, and leaders from government and industry. The trial is designed as a learning system to more efficiently and rapidly identify effective therapies for GBM patients. GBM AGILE’s innovative model enables multiple drugs (and combinations of drugs) to be screened simultaneously and over time. Drugs that show initial evidence of benefit to patients will seamlessly transition to a confirmatory stage designed to support registration approval. Drugs that are underperforming are dropped. The intent is to lower the cost, time, and number of patients required to evaluate potential new effective therapies for patients with GBM.

In late 2018, GCAR announced a partnership with Bayer Oncology to use the company’s drug regorafenib as the first therapy arm entering the GBM AGILE platform, which will begin during the first half of 2019. Ultimately, the trial will include multiple arms at clinical sites starting in the United States and Canada, and expanding into Europe, Asia, and Australia in the near future.

Visit http://www.gcaresearch.org/gbm-agile for more about GBM AGILE.

About National Brain Tumor Society

National Brain Tumor Society invests in, mobilizes, and unites the brain tumor community to discover a cure, deliver effective treatments, and advocate for patients and care partners. We are the largest patient advocacy non-profit solely dedicated to the brain tumor community and a leading thought leader in the neuro-oncology field. Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, our organization raises funds to invest in accelerating brain tumor treatments, prepare the community to navigate their unique brain tumor experience, and convene stakeholders while changing public policy to improve the lives and survival of brain tumor patients. Visit us at https://braintumor.org.

About StacheStrong

StacheStrong is a 501(c)3 Not-for-Profit Charity focused on raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research. StacheStrong has raised nearly $100,000 in their first year and has become a beacon of hope for countless families facing this currently incurable disease.  All proceeds that StacheStrong raises will be going directly to brain cancer research. Find StacheStrong at www.stachestrong.org and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @StacheStrong.

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