Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) announced it has received a significant gift from Susan and Steve Kelly, local philanthropists and long-time supporters of CHOP, to establish the Susan S. and Stephen P. Kelly Center for Cancer Immunotherapy. The new Center, led by Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, will allow CHOP to create a more robust infrastructure to expand pediatric clinical trials and accelerate U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of novel treatments; increase the pipeline of innovative therapeutics and diagnostics; recruit and train top investigators and postdoctoral researchers to become the next generation of cancer immunotherapy experts; and increase equity and access to cell therapy clinical trials for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients.
Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD
“Cell and gene therapy is a major emphasis at CHOP, which is now positioned, unlike any other academic medical center, to leverage our clinical and scientific expertise in the cell and gene therapy space to better care for pediatric patients and families in Philadelphia and around the world,” said Dr. Grupp, Inaugural Director of the Susan S. and Stephen P. Kelly Center for Cancer Immunotherapy and Chief of the Cellular Therapy and Transplant Section in the Division of Oncology at CHOP. “The Kellys’ unwavering commitment to CHOP and the Cancer Center will allow us to forge ahead and identify new therapies for sick children sooner….”
Steve and Susan Kelly have a long-standing partnership with CHOP’s Cancer Center and have supported Dr. Grupp’s research in developing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The combined efforts of Dr. Grupp and his team, along with investigators from the University of Pennsylvania and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, paved the way for the first-ever FDA approval of a CAR T-cell therapy in August 2017.