Lugano, Switzerland, June 4, 2018 –Helsinn, the Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care products, in conjunction with the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), today announces Rajiv Agarwal, MD, currently a medical oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), U.S., as the second recipient of the Anna Braglia Endowed Young Investigator Award in Cancer Supportive Care.
The Conquer Cancer Foundation’s Young Investigator Award (YIA) funds physicians who are in the final years of training to aid their transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment. The YIA is a one-year $50,000 grant that aims to promote quality research in clinical oncology.
Established in 2016, this endowed YIA honours the life of Anna Braglia, the wife of Helsinn Group Founder and Chairman Gabriele Braglia and mother of Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO Riccardo Braglia, who passed away in 2015. Helsinn endowed this award, which is part of Conquer Cancer’s Grants and Awards Program, to encourage more aspiring physicians to move into all areas of oncology and cancer care, by supporting them as they move from academia into research.
The second inaugural recipient of this endowed YIA, Dr. Rajiv Agarwal completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy at Columbia University, and received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Agarwal completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. During his fellowship, Dr. Agarwal is the first fellow to pioneer a dual training path in medical oncology and palliative medicine at MSKCC, where his research focused on applying the principles of palliative care for patients with advanced cancer.
Dr. Agarwal’s YIA project will examine the impact of a palliative care intervention at the start of Phase I targeted or immune-based therapeutic treatment on patients’ expectations for therapeutic benefit, alignment of cancer treatment with personal values, and patient well-being. Dr. Agarwal plans for an academic career as a clinical investigator, to design and conduct patient-focused research that aims to further comprehensive cancer care and inform new paradigms for the integration of palliative medicine and oncology.
Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO, commented: “Dr. Rajiv Agarwal is a highly deserving candidate for this award, which embodies Helsinn’s values of quality, integrity and respect and its commitment to pursuing and supporting innovation in improving the lives of people with cancer. His work focuses in on the areas of palliative care that patients and families find the most challenging to bring to light, their experience of the palliative element of cancer treatment. Dr. Agarwal’s work complements Helsinn’s broader goal of helping people with cancer improve their quality of life. We are thrilled to be able to support his work and wish him all the best with his project.”
Dr. Rajiv Agarwal, said: "I am honored to receive the second Anna Braglia Endowed Young Investigator Award. Patients with advanced cancer hope to benefit from the ongoing advances in precision medicine and immuno-oncology, but may be further supported with concurrent palliative care. With funding from the Anna Braglia Endowed YIA, I will seek to improve patients understanding of their illness so that they can plan for the future as they receive potentially transformative cancer therapies.”
About the Helsinn Group
Helsinn is a privately owned pharmaceutical group with an extensive portfolio of marketed cancer care products and a robust drug development pipeline. Since 1976, Helsinn has been improving the everyday lives of patients, guided by core family values of respect, integrity and quality. The Group works across pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and nutritional supplements and has expertise in research, development, manufacture and the commercialization of therapeutic and supportive care products for cancer, pain and inflammation and gastroenterology. In 2016, Helsinn created the Helsinn Investment Fund to support early-stage investment opportunities in areas of unmet patient need. The company is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with operating subsidiaries in Switzerland, Ireland, the U.S., Monaco and China, as well as a product presence in approximately 190 countries globally.
To learn more about Helsinn Group please visit www.helsinn.com
About Conquer Cancer
Conquer Cancer Foundation funds research into every facet of cancer to benefit every patient, everywhere. In 1964, seven oncologists created the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), now a global network of nearly 45,000 cancer professionals. As ASCO’s foundation, Conquer Cancer helps turn science into a sigh of relief for patients around the world by supporting groundbreaking research and education across cancer’s full continuum.
For more information, visit CONQUER.ORG
For more information:
Helsinn Group Media Contact:
Group Head of Communication
Tel: +41 (0) 91 985 21 21