Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Napster founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker cited immunotherapy as the "opportunity for disruption" in the fight against cancer and the catalyst for his $250 million philanthropic project, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, during an event with Axios' Mike Allen this afternoon.

Parker said that he founded the Parker Institute after realizing that there's a disconnect between cancer research and actually finding concrete cures, saying, "I learned that the field of academic science — or just academic science in general — the values are not necessarily aligned with medicine or in bringing treatments to patients…We also need this sense of urgency."

More from the conversation with Parker:

  • About the Parker Institute: "We have seven academic medical centers. We have — I don't even know how many, fifty plus — pharma partners and biotech partners…They're cumulatively seeing thirty-some percent of all cancer patents in the U.S….They're all sharing data with each other, they're all sharing their prepublication information." He added that it's a "first-generation attempt" to "cut down the barriers" for information sharing between these top institutions.
  • Why he got involved: "When you see this tremendous gap between what's possible, what the technology is enabling, and what's actually being done…that gap is your opportunity for disruption…That's what I saw with cancer immunotherapy specifically."
  • His vision of the future: "In the next 10 years, I think we're gonna cure a lot — not gonna cure all cancers — but I think we're gonna cure a lot of cancers."

Parker discussed his time developing Facebook and social media as we know today as an addictive tool: "It's a social vulnerability feedback loop. You're exploiting something in human psychology."

Go deeper: The Bidens discuss their part in the cancer moonshot.

Go deeper

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

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Trump, Kushner and Netanyahu (L-R). Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty

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Behind the scenes: Talks had been ongoing for more than a year, but they gained new urgency ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's July 1 deadline to move ahead on West Bank annexations.