Software Entrepreneur Evan Goldberg Invests $10M to Apply Silicon Valley “Big Data” Practices to BRCA Mutation Cancer Research
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Evan Goldberg, Founder, CTO and Board Chair of Netsuite, Inc., today unveiled the BRCA Foundation, a philanthropic effort to bring about new therapies, cures and preventative treatments for those who face increased cancer risk by carrying hereditary BRCA gene mutations.
“We believe that by bringing these top research institutions together, we can overcome many of the obstacles that currently limit breakthroughs in cancer research”
BRCA gene mutations (BRCA 1 and BRCA 2) are known to dramatically increase the risk of developing certain cancers, sometimes more than 80% for certain cancer types. Preventative treatment for BRCA-related cancers are typically limited to drastic prophylactic measures including mastectomies and oophorectomies for women (aka the “Angelina Jolie” surgery). For men, BRCA mutations increase the risk of prostate, pancreatic and male breast cancer.
The Foundation’s initial investment unites three of the United States’ top medical research institutions – cancer teams from Stanford University, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Harvard University – around a shared aim of accelerating breakthrough research that will help create new options for those carrying BRCA gene mutations.
“We believe that by bringing these top research institutions together, we can overcome many of the obstacles that currently limit breakthroughs in cancer research,” said Goldberg. “Cancer is, in part, a Big Data problem. By giving researchers tools and incentives to partner and share patient data, we can more rapidly deliver discoveries and treatments for those with BRCA gene mutations.”
The BRCA Foundation’s research work is pioneering a new lens with which to attack cancer – by biological mechanism instead of organ. Early research findings show that cancers behave, and respond differently, depending on their genetic characteristics, rather than by where they are located in the body.
Inspired to learn more about BRCA mutations after learning the positive status of his birth mother, Goldberg, who was adopted at birth, has made an initial $10M investment toward this effort. Goldberg tested positive for BRCA 1 mutation in 2010. While not limited to this group, the risk of carrying faulty BRCA genes is higher for those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. In the Bay Area alone, there are an estimated 5,000-10,000 Ashkenazi Jews carrying a BRCA gene mutation. In part due to lack of awareness about BRCA mutation risks, as well as the high cost of genetic testing, many do not know their BRCA mutation status.
ABOUT THE BRCA FOUNDATION
The BRCA Foundation’s mission is to accelerate research and foster collaboration to cure and prevent BRCA cancers. We invest in the most promising work of top scientific investigators, while creating a forum for successful partnerships across institutions, all with the goal of getting the fastest possible results. Founded in 2015 by Netsuite Founder, CTO and Board Chair Evan Goldberg and his wife, Cindy, the aim of the Foundation is to create a world free of the threat of BRCA cancers.