Investing in research
We fight cancer. We look for solutions through the lenses of knowledge and evidence. We use common sense, we put science to work for patients, and we strive for short-term, meaningful impacts where they are most needed.
Scanning the horizon
The Anticancer Fund builds knowledge in the field of cancer treatment and uses scientific information to benefit patients. According to our vision, no reasonable opportunity to develop an effective anticancer treatment should remain untapped. Through our activities, patients will gain access to more scientifically validated treatment options, in addition to those emerging from the pharma industry development pipeline.
The value of philanthropy
The pharmaceutical industry operates in an economic reality. The business value of new therapies sets the agenda, ranks priorities and determines budget attribution. If a patient group is small, a development process complicated or costly, market value weak, or any combination thereof: the economic drive to develop treatment options is limited. Cancer is business. Its language is money.
Private philanthropy has the freedom to think differently, to do differently and to make a difference.
Our role as a science office
The ACF is a science-based organisation and its employees are largely scientists and doctors. This gives the ACF an unusual skillset for such a relatively small organisation. We also collaborate with other not-for-profit organisations by providing scientific support for specific projects. By engaging the ACF to act as a science office, other not-for-profit organisations lacking necessary infrastructure or skills can realise credible and successful projects that align with their objectives.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Investing in the right research
Not all cancers get the same attention, and treatment options vary by cancer type – from easily treatable to no hope whatsoever. Unmet needs abound and science doesn’t yet have the answers for some patients. On the for-profit side, treatment development is mainly driven by patient population size. More patients, more market potential.
The most value to be found in non-profit research – which complements commercial progress – falls into four distinct areas.
The allocation of research funds to these areas is limited in the profit-driven cancer industry due to low returns on investment, regulatory complexity and market authorisation. Every clinical trial and research project that the Anticancer Fund invests in can be attributed to one or more of these commercially inviable focus areas.