April 18, 2007
Sumner M. Redstone Commits $105 Million to Fund Cancer and Burn Recovery Research and Patient Care
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sumner M. Redstone announced a commitment of $105 million in charitable grants to fund research and patient care advancements in cancer and burn recovery at three major non-profit healthcare organizations. The cash contributions of $35 million each will be paid out over five years to FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions, based in Washington D.C.; the Cedars-Sinai Prostate Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California; and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Redstone said: "Advancements in research and medical science are creating a better world and a higher quality of life for all of us. Like many, I have personally benefited from these advancements and have been an active contributor for many years to help speed their development. But I also know that there is so much more to be done and with the right resources in the right hands, we can make even more rapid progress and literally change the world.
"I am also pleased to renew my longstanding support for the innovative research of Dr. John Burke and the heroic work of the Burn Center at Mass General Hospital and to extend my involvement to its Emergency Care Department," Mr. Redstone added. "Mass General is approaching its 200th year of innovative and compassionate service to the community. The strides they are making in helping people rebuild their bodies and their lives are both extraordinary and inspirational."
Mr. Redstone, who is the controlling shareholder and Executive Chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation, also announced that he intends to make additional grants in the future.
FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions is a non-profit "action tank" formed under the auspices of the Milken Institute with a mission to identify and implement global solutions to accelerate the process of discovery and clinical development of new therapies for the treatment of deadly and debilitating diseases.
Funds provided by Mr. Redstone will support and expand The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN), a groundbreaking program created by FasterCures in 2004. TRAIN coordinates the work of more than two dozen non-profit, disease-research organizations and dramatically improves their effectiveness by sharing best practices, standardizing data collection, and enhancing dialogue with philanthropic and investment communities. FasterCures, which believes collaboration is essential to successful innovation, convenes the TRAIN network to accelerate medical solutions by uncovering the best approaches to get patients connected to treatments. The TRAIN groups are making significant strides in getting treatments to patients with diseases as diverse as Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer, Alzheimer's, Diabetes (both Type 1 and 2), Autism, Brain Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Epilepsy, MS, Parkinson's, Heart Disease, ALS, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Myeloma, and many others.
The grants will be used to bring other disease groups into TRAIN and take these innovative non-profit disease research organizations into new areas of collaboration, including accelerating clinical trial enrollments, identifying and implementing best practices for research, and increasing the use of information technology to study and treat diseases. The TRAIN Program will be renamed The Redstone Acceleration and Innovation Network.
The funds will also be used to expand the Patients Helping Doctors program (PHD) that promotes the research use of electronic medical records and biorepositories and to boost clinical trial enrollment. Additionally, Mr. Redstone's gift, in conjunction with recent support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will help accelerate the FasterCures Philanthropy Advisory Service, which connects philanthropists with non-profit disease research organizations trying to defeat global and domestic diseases.
FasterCures Chairman Michael Milken said, "We are honored by this remarkably generous gift, and of course we are profoundly thankful. But more importantly, the funds from Mr. Redstone will provide hope to the hundreds of millions of patients around the world who must deal with life-threatening diseases. These funds will also accelerate programs that are removing barriers to medical progress and speeding the development of cures."
FasterCures President Greg Simon said, "We are overwhelmed by and deeply grateful for Sumner Redstone's generous gift. Four years ago, the Milken Institute created FasterCures to identify and remove the barriers that slow the search for cures across all diseases. This extraordinary gift will ensure that researchers, doctors and patients will have a strong ally in FasterCures in the fight to develop new medical solutions to improve the quality of life for millions of people in America and across the globe."
Cedars-Sinai Prostate Cancer Center
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the western United States. Internationally renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities, Cedars-Sinai ranks among the top 10 non-university hospitals in the nation for its research activities and is a major teaching hospital.
Under the leadership of Medical Director Stuart Holden, MD, and Research Director David B. Agus, MD, Cedars-Sinai's Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center has a dedicated program of prostate cancer research focused on understanding the biology of prostate cancer and developing new treatments. The Center is committed to bringing new treatments from the laboratory to patients as quickly and safely as possible.
The new initiative funded by Mr. Redstone will help support a six-year National Prostate Cancer Study, as well as cancer drug development and clinical trial programs, with the goal of bringing new therapies and treatments to patients with prostate cancer and other advanced cancers. The new initiative will be named the Sumner Redstone Prostate Cancer Research Program and will be based in the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai. The Redstone program will expand current lab research and is focused on understanding the biology of prostate cancer and development of new
drugs and treatments for prostate cancer that will go into prostate cancer clinical trials.
John C. Law, Chairman of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Directors, said: "Cedars-Sinai is privileged to partner with Sumner Redstone in harnessing the power of innovative research. By supporting science that saves lives, his visionary gift will enrich countless individuals, families, and communities."
Dr. Agus said: "Cancer is a terrible disease and we have not yet unlocked its secrets. This gift will enable us to make significant strides forward in our research and to ultimately develop more effective treatments. We are humbled and honored by Mr. Redstone's tremendous contribution. He has made a profound and lasting impact that will help us reach our goal of not only saving more lives, but also helping more patients live longer with a better quality of life."
Massachusetts General Hospital
Since first opening its doors in 1821, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has been a committed, innovative and respected leader in health care - excelling in patient care, medical research and clinical teaching. MGH has a long tradition of providing superb, individualized care for its patients; conducting groundbreaking biomedical research; and educating the health care professionals of tomorrow. From demonstrating the first use of surgical anesthesia and performing the first double bone marrow and kidney transplant, to partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in developing dermal replacement Integra(TM) (artificial skin) for the treatment of seriously burned patients, the MGH is renowned for continually improving medicine and saving lives.
A longtime supporter of the MGH, Mr. Redstone established the Sumner M. Redstone Burn Center in 1974.
The new funds from Mr. Redstone will significantly enhance the MGH's ability to treat burn and trauma patients and others who come to the hospital for emergency care. The gift will be used to create The Sumner M. Redstone Burn and Trauma Service, an endowed fund that will fuel advances in burn and trauma care and to promote innovative approaches and creative problem-solving in burn and trauma research, such as minimally invasive techniques, the use of cell-based therapies to regenerate functional tissue and nerves, and the body's inflammatory responses to injury.
The funds will also support research and training in the Redstone Burn Center, which will be relocated and expanded. The new Burn Center will boost inpatient capacity, the quality of patient care and enhance the staff's ability to provide essential follow-up care on an outpatient basis.
Additionally, Mr. Redstone's gift will be used to reconfigure and enhance the MGH Emergency Department, which will be re-named The Sumner M. Redstone Emergency Department. All patients who seek emergency care from the MGH will benefit from Mr. Redstone's gift. The larger emergency facility will lend itself to faster and more immediate treatment and reduced waiting times through the introduction of a Rapid Intervention System, an innovative means for streamlining emergency care.
Peter L. Slavin, MD, President of MGH, said: "Sumner Redstone has long been a generous partner and good friend to Massachusetts General Hospital. For many years his thoughtful support has helped thousands of burn patients receive the highest quality care. This extraordinary new commitment will transform the way we care for many of our most seriously ill and injured patients, providing state-of-the-art care for decades to come. By supporting new research and training initiatives, Mr. Redstone's gift will extend the MGH's expertise well beyond the hospital's walls, benefiting patients throughout the nation and the world."
Sumner M. Redstone
Mr. Redstone serves as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation , positions to which he was elected on January 1, 2006, following the creation of two separate publicly-traded companies from the former Viacom Inc. He was Chief Executive Officer of the former Viacom Inc. from 1996 to 2005 and Chairman of the Board of the former Viacom Inc. since 1986. He has also been Chairman of the Board of National Amusements, Inc., Viacom and CBS Corporation's controlling stockholder, since 1986, and Chief Executive Officer of National Amusements since 1967. He served as president of National Amusements from 1967 through 1999. Mr. Redstone served as the first Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Theatre Owners and is currently a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Redstone has been a frequent lecturer at universities, including Harvard Law School and Brandeis University. Mr. Redstone graduated from Harvard University in 1944 and received an LL.B. from Harvard University School of Law in 1947. Upon graduation, Mr. Redstone served as law secretary with the U.S. Court of Appeals and then as a special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General. Mr. Redstone served in the Military Intelligence Division during World War II. While a student at Harvard, he was selected to join a special intelligence group whose mission was to break Japan's high-level military and diplomatic codes. Mr. Redstone received, among other honors, two commendations from the Military Intelligence Division in recognition of his service, contribution and devotion to duty. Mr. Redstone is also a recipient of the Army Commendation Award.
CONTACT: Carl Folta of Viacom for Mr. Redstone, +1-212-258-6352, [email protected]; or Patrick Morris of FasterCures, +1-202-654-7085, [email protected]; or Simi Singer of Cedars-Sinai, +1-310-423-7798, [email protected]; or Peggy Slasman of Mass General, +1-617-724-2750, [email protected]
Web site: http://www.viacom.com/