New Year’s Note from CEO, Kapila Viges

  • MPNRF | January 1, 2022

    What's Next?

    At the end of a productive meeting, day, or week, I’m always asking myself, “what’s next.” Next on my calendar, next on my list, next on the agenda. Last year, I recognized that to get to what’s next as a foundation, I first had to learn, listen, and prepare.

    I learned about the foundation’s core research mission and legacy of impact on new discoveries over the past 20 years. I listened to perspectives from patients, researchers, industry leaders, and MPN advocates on how we might advance our research mission together.

    While I was learning and listening for the first half of the year, I was also preparing for the second half and beyond.

    I organized around serving our stakeholders – patients and caregivers, researchers and clinicians, biopharmaceutical industry leaders, and the benefactors who generously enable our research mission. I sought out skilled leaders in philanthropy, rare disease patient advocacy and biopharma, and remain focused on bringing scientifically trained leaders to reinforce the research mission.

    It may have looked different to the MPN community on the outside. Under the hood, the engine was revving!

    In October, we reported on the results of a three-year, global MPN Interferon Research Initiative.

    In November, we were captivated by the outcomes of previously funded research at our 2021 MPN Roundtable, and we announced five new MPN Challenge awards.

    In December, we released the Voice of the Patient Report on MPNs, which delivered to the FDA a broad view on living with an MPN, symptoms, and treatment priorities.

    So what's next in 2022...

    With an unprecedented number of therapies in development and on the cusp of approval, including the recent approval of ropeginterferon, we are navigating a sea of change in the MPN disease landscape. Symptom control is top of mind for so many patients, and these promising new approaches, we hope, will bring some relief.

    Our research priorities will focus on next-stage investigations. The basic and translational research projects we fund warrant the questions: What is the next study to advance what we have learned? What evidence do we need next to move into the clinic?

    We regularly convene global MPN thought leaders around the next frontiers in research. This community of experts has made it clear what’s next – the study of MPN disease progression. They need better definitions, more predictive indicators, rational prevention options, and better clinical endpoints to measure meaningful benefit of therapies.

    The MPN Research Foundation’s attention in 2022 will focus on these and other central questions shared by patients and clinicians. Galvanized and globally engaged, we will continue to listen, learn, and prepare to pursue “what’s next.”