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SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
- $53 million matched, positioning Foundation for continued impact; opportunity and need persist in challenged research funding environment -
NEW YORK, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) announced that with the help of the Parkinson's community, it has completed and surpassed the $50-million Brin Wojcicki Challenge. Longtime Foundation supporters Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki have matched more than $53 million in capacity-building gifts received by MJFF from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2012.
Mr. Brin and Ms. Wojcicki, the Foundation's largest donors for several years running, spearheaded the Challenge to spur donors at every level to give, renew or increase giving to MJFF. Because of the enthusiasm and generosity of the Foundation's community of donors, Challenge-eligible giving exceeded the original goal by about $3 million - additional dollars that Mr. Brin and Ms. Wojcicki have agreed to match.
"Anne and Sergey's friendship to our Foundation and to Parkinson's patients worldwide is awe-inspiring," said Michael J. Fox. "As if a $50-million match weren't tremendous in its own right, they've gone above and beyond their initial commitment to match the $3 million extra ponied up by our incredible supporters. There's no doubt the Challenge has made our community stronger and more vibrant in its passionate pursuit of a cure."
Over the course of two years, the Challenge brought thousands of new contributors to MJFF. It also helped the Foundation reactivate relationships with thousands of supporters who had given prior to 2010, and motivated over 4,000 to stretch their giving in order to double the impact of their generosity.
Mr. Brin is co-founder of Google. Ms. Wojcicki is co-founder of 23andMe, a personal genetics company. With the completion of the Challenge, their personal giving to MJFF totals more than $157.5 million since 2004.
An opportune moment and an urgent need
Mr. Brin and Ms. Wojcicki chose an opportune moment in Parkinson's drug development to launch the Challenge. MJFF and most of its research partners believe that the pipeline of new Parkinson's treatments is as robust as it has been in decades, if not ever. Understanding of the factors underlying disease onset and progression is increasing, and insights from genetics are opening new avenues for therapeutic development. In the midst of this promising activity, government and commercial sources of research funding continue to dry up. Especially as more research approaches the clinic, where costs rise steeply, there has never been a more important time or a greater need for the Parkinson's community to work together to ensure funding sufficient to keep the most promising projects moving forward.
At the outset of 2013, MJFF remains focused on:
"Our Foundation's promise to Parkinson's patients is to work urgently to identify and fund the projects closest or most critical to practical therapeutic relevance," said Todd Sherer, Ph.D., CEO of MJFF. "We're grateful to our Challenge participants and our entire community of supporters for helping us continue to fulfill that promise."
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest private funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $300 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.
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