Pelotonia donates more than $100 million to OSU for cancer research

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Pelotonia announced Friday it was donating more than $100 million to the Ohio State University for cancer research.

The donation of $102,265,000 will span over five years and go to establish the Pelotonia Institute of Immuno-Oncology (PIIO) at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC ) – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The PIIO will focus exclusively on this innovative area of research to employ the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

Conquering cancer is one of the great challenges of our time,” said Doug Ulman, Pelotonia President & CEO and three-time cancer survivor. “With 1.7 million Americans diagnosed with the disease each year, it deserves urgent attention. The recent explosion of discoveries in immuno-oncology have energized this effort and we know that momentum will build exponentially through an even bigger partnership with Ohio State. As we open the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology – backed by a dedicated community united in our mission, we are entering the next generation of cancer care – a time in which many cancers may become curable.”

The PIIO is made possible by a $102,265,000 gift from Pelotonia. The total amount of the gift – $102,265,000 – is a way of paying tribute to Pelotonia’s inaugural bike ride in 2009 and the 2,265 riders who participated. Since then, Pelotonia has grown into a movement that inspires meaningful collective action by mobilizing purpose-driven communities and accelerating funding for innovative cancer research.

The PIIO will be led by Zihai Li, MD, PhD, an internationally renowned authority in immuno-oncology and immunotherapy.

“The OSUCCC – James is a pillar of strength at Ohio State and in our community,” said Drake. “Through the cancer center, we conduct multi-disciplinary research spanning medicine, engineering, food science, public health and other disciplines in the health sciences. This transformative Pelotonia gift will allow for an entirely new level of collaboration, research and discovery at our university – a level only possible at a comprehensive institution like Ohio State.”

The PIIO will be located initially on the 5th Floor of the Biomedical Research Tower on The Ohio State University campus. The OSUCCC – James expects to add up to 32 additional faculty over the next five years to work within the PIIO. Multi-phase laboratory renovations will take place during this time to create advanced cellular laboratory facilities, immune monitoring and discovery platforms, immunogenomics, systems immunology and other research areas for start-up initiatives and national collaborations with other academic centers and industry partners.  

The PIIO will build upon current immuno-oncology efforts that are already underway at the OSUCCC – James, including the treatment of a variety of cancers with immunotherapies including: CAR-T cell therapy, cytokine therapy, monoclonal antibodies, adoptive cell transfer, vaccines and drug therapy. In addition, there are more than 40 immuno-oncology clinical trials being conducted at the OSUCCC – James.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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