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The Wistar Institute Receives $10 Million Donation

Brings Lead gift to $30 million – Largest Contribution in Wistar’s History

PHILADELPHIA — (June 18, 2024) — The Wistar Institute received a $10 million donation from an anonymous donor who previously committed $20 million to support Wistar’s new Center for Advanced Therapeutics. This now $30 million gift to Wistar’s Bold Science//Global Impact Campaign is the largest in the Institute’s history and enables Wistar to fund the design and construction of its new Center for Advanced Therapeutics, a cornerstone of the Institute’s strategic plan.

“This exceptional gift is a testament to the promise and hope of biomedical research in conquering human diseases. The time is now to foster freedom to discover, embrace innovation and advance the most promising research findings from the laboratory benches to patients in the clinic,” said Wistar President and CEO Dario C. Altieri, M.D.

The new Center for Advanced Therapeutics represents the next step in the evolution of Wistar Science, a unique engine for cross-disciplinary collaboration, scientific innovation, and impactful public-private partnerships to pursue the medicines of tomorrow.

“I agreed to chair this campaign because I truly believe Wistar has the power to make a difference for all mankind,” said Ronald Caplan, chair of the Bold Science//Global Impact Campaign. “Generous gifts like this enable Wistar researchers to pursue discoveries that can lead to breakthrough cures, and this new Center for Advanced Therapeutics will allow us to accomplish just that. It’s an honor to be part of this work and to contribute to the future of the Institution.” Ellen and Ron Caplan made a separate generous $10 million gift to the Campaign in 2022.

Emphasis will be placed on both next-generation immunotherapies as well as small molecule therapeutics to “drug-the-undruggable,” with a laser focus on unmet medical needs and hard-to-treat conditions in cancer and infectious diseases. Relying on Wistar’s nationally recognized collaborative and multidisciplinary framework, the Center will tackle critical and unexplored research areas of enormous therapeutic potential such as the diversity of B cell and T cell repertoires, novel drug-target interfaces, and groundbreaking vaccine platforms.

“Wistar is a key contributor to the life science sector in Philadelphia, and an engine for new scientific knowledge, medical breakthroughs and workforce development in our region,” said Richard M. Horowitz, chairman and CEO of RAF Industries, Inc., and chair of Wistar’s Board of Trustees. “This investment positions Wistar to pursue even greater advances in research and fully realize its potential to translate those discoveries into solutions that improve human health and ultimately save lives.”

Wistar will begin construction on the new Center at its landmark facility in University City, Philadelphia, in the summer of 2024. The new facility will provide a comprehensive, state-of-the-art, open-floor plan research facility, embodying the culture of collaboration and synergy that is the hallmark of The Wistar Institute and its scientists.

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The Wistar Institute is the nation’s first independent nonprofit institution devoted exclusively to foundational biomedical research and training. Since 1972, the Institute has held National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center status. Through a culture and commitment to biomedical collaboration and innovation, Wistar science leads to breakthrough early-stage discoveries and life science sector start-ups. Wistar scientists are dedicated to solving some of the world’s most challenging problems in the field of cancer and immunology, advancing human health through early-stage discovery and training the next generation of biomedical researchers.