Founders Fund Managing Partner Sean Parker attends the eG8 forum in Paris in this May 25, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Files
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Napster co-founder bankrolls project to speed cancer workA project to speed development of cancer-fighting drugs that harness the immune system has academic and drug industry researchers collaborating and sharing their findings like never before.Those drugmakers, from industry giants Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Inc., to small drug and diagnostic test developers, will fund the much-larger tests needed for drug approval, which can include hundreds or thousands of patients and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.Scientists have tried less-sophisticated strategies to use the immune system against cancer for about a century, with limited success, noted Dr. Eric Rubin, head of early stage cancer drug development at Merck & Co.Other immunotherapy approaches that will be part of the institute's initial work include CAR-T therapy, in which a patient's T-cells are removed from the blood, engineered to be "cancer assassins," then injected into the patient, Parker said.
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