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Freemasons donate $600,000 to Malaghan Institute’s cancer research

12 December 2018

Freemasons New Zealand is donating $600,000 over the next two years to support the Malaghan Institute’s world-leading cancer research.

Announced today, the Freemasons CAR T-cell Research Programme will work towards improving the Institute’s CAR T-cell therapies, and extending them to other cancers.

CAR T-cell therapy is a revolutionary new treatment that reprograms immune cells to recognise and kill cancer.

Freemasons grand master Mark Winger says Freemasons are proud to support the Institute’s work because it is practical research that will have real outcomes that have the potential to improve the lives of all New Zealanders.

“Freemasons donate extensively to medical research programmes like the Freemasons CAR T-cell Research Programme because they are a promising and effective way that we can do something tangible to help New Zealanders.

“Our support is motivated by the guiding principles that underpin Freemasonary, particularly compassion and love of, and support for, humankind.”

Grand master Winger said this Wellington-based programme complements two other major medical research programmes that Freemasons support in Auckland (neurology) and Dunedin (paediatrics).

“Medical research programmes like these help to make the world a better and kinder place for all of us, and that’s something all Freemasons aspire to.”

Director of the Malaghan Institute professor Graham Le Gros says the financial partnership with the Freemasons provides a significant and vital boost to the Institute’s CAR T-cell research.

“As an independent research organisation and charity, the Malaghan Institute relies on support from the community and the generosity of organisations like Freemasons. This support, along with that of other organisations and individuals, will allow us to accelerate the availability of this ground-breaking treatment in New Zealand.”

The Malaghan Institute is currently preparing for a clinical trial in 2019 to test the safety and efficacy of a new version of CAR T-cell therapy.