Max Wallace, CEO of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, is featured this week in the leading innovation economy publication, Xconomy. In the article, "The New Power Players in Drug R&D Are Wearing Bright Shirts," Luke Timmerman, National Biotech Editor for Xconomy, writes about forward-thinking foundations that are taking risks and getting involved in both research AND early development at companies, not just research in academic labs.
The following excerpts highlight the entrepreneurial approach taken by ABC2:
"One of those types of folks is Max Wallace, the CEO of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. This foundation, co-founded by AOL pioneer Steve Case and his brother Dan, naturally gravitated to can-do folks in business for help in making progress against brain cancer. So the foundation hired Wallace, an experienced biotech executive, to help put $2.5 million of donations per year to work.
In one example, ABC2 recently put $175,000 into Cambridge, MA-based Agios Pharmaceuticals to run experiments on whether drug for a cancer metabolism pathway might be useful for brain cancer. That amount of money might sound trivial, and the amount wasn’t even disclosed in a 2009 press release (probably because the PR folks thought guys like me would dismiss the grant as irrelevant). But as Wallace says, the grant helped convince the deeper VC pockets on the Agios board to commit more company resources to that program once it started showed more promise. And Agios, surely, appreciates that ABC2 can help open some important doors to patients that it will need along the drug development journey."