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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

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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