Oncoheroes: Advancing New Therapies for Childhood Cancer

Ricardo Garcia, CEO, Cesare Spadoni, COO, and Jonathan Agin, Head of Patient Advocacy for Oncoheroes Biosciences join us to discuss this relatively new company, founded in 2017, and it's unique and thoughtful approach to childhood cancer research. The families of each of the three gentlemen have each been affected directly by childhood cancer and the lack of adequate treatments developed for children.

Oncoheroes Biosciences was formed, in fact, to confront the challenges of the current medical research system to addressing the needs of children in a comprehensive manner. First, their focus is to bring new treatments for children, specifically to the marketplace; second, research into subtypes is prioritized according to prevalence and mortality rate; third, they offer unique philanthropic opportunities of partnership and return on investment for non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Learn about their recent success in signing an agreement with the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingleheim International for exclusive rights to develop the drug Volasertib. A drug originally developed for adult leukemia, Volasertib shows great promise in treating a number of childhood cancers, and is currently being developed to treat rhabdomyosarcoma.

 

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About Janet


Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.