David will share about his journey from fighting for survival against idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD) during medical school to conducting research leveraging the SOMAscan proteomic platform and ultimately collaborating with dozens of physicians, researchers, and patients to accelerate progress for Castleman disease patients worldwide. His presentation highlights the incredible power when patients, physicians, advocates, researchers, caregivers, biopharmaceutical companies, and drug regulators unite to leverage cutting-edge technologies and turn our hope into action.
At 25 years old, Fajgenbaum presented with life-threatening multi-organ dysfunction for an unknown cause. Without a diagnosis and no hope for survival, a priest read him his last rites. Fortunately, the diagnosis was made and multi-agent chemotherapy saved his life, but he went on to have multiple deadly relapses. When he learned about the limited research funding, lack of resources, no FDA approved treatments, and no drugs in development beyond anti-IL-6 therapy, he co-founded the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) in 2012. In parallel, he began searching for insights into the pathogenesis of iMCD and potential new treatment approaches. Combining omic technologies such as SOMAscan with single cell profiling, tissue immunostaining, and bioinformatic tools, Fajgenbaum has discovered novel predictive biomarkers of treatment response and novel treatment approaches, including one (an mTOR inhibitor) that is saving his life and others.
Through his roles as a Board member for the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA and Co-Chair for the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory, Fajgenbaum is also advancing drug repurposing to ensure that all currently FDA-approved drugs are utilized to treat all diseases that can benefit from them. Though incredible progress has been made chasing cures, important work remains to identify treatments for all patients suffering from incurable conditions and we hope attendees will join us in this work.
Founding Director of the Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory (CSTL), Associate Director of the Penn Orphan Disease Center, and Co-Founder & President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN)No slides available
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Please join on May 18-19, 2023