UCLA Law | September 22, 2021
With the philanthropy world on the precipice of revolutionary change due to the pending baby boomer wealth transfer, UCLA School of Law announced the formation of the Program on Philanthropy and Nonprofits, devoted to cutting-edge research, training and policy in this dynamic and evolving area of the law and society. It will reside within the law school's Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy (LMI). The new program builds on the vision of LMI founder and UCLA Law alumnus Lowell Milken, who has utilized his own legal background to inform his work as both a businessman and a philanthropist.
"We are immensely grateful to Lowell Milken for his visionary gift," said Jennifer Mnookin, Dean of the UCLA School of Law. "Our outstanding UCLA Law faculty, especially in tax law, nonprofit law and the governance of entities, positions us to be a national resource for scholarship and policy analysis of the nonprofit sector — and we can take a leadership role in the education of legal counsel, nonprofit directors and executives to meet the challenges that will shape nonprofits."
As baby boomers pass on, they are expected to transfer tens of trillions of dollars in wealth to younger generations, well-established nonprofits and/or family foundations. This massive financial shift is set to upend the processes of philanthropy and the governance of nonprofits. The rise of new ways of conducting philanthropy and changes in the role of nonprofits places this issue closer to the heart of the national political, legal and social conversation.
"We're undergoing a generational shift that promises to make some of the most significant changes to the universe of business law and policy in decades," said Milken. "There is a rare and important chance to make an impact on a national scale, and the talent and vision of the people at UCLA Law and LMI make this an exciting and irresistible opportunity."
Among the nation's most eminent businessmen, philanthropists and leaders in education reform, Milken has donated more than $20 million to the law school during the past decade, including the $10 million gift, then the largest in the school's history, that launched LMI in 2011. A new gift of $3.7 million has made the new Program on Philanthropy and Nonprofits possible.
Since its founding in 2011, LMI has been home to UCLA Law's business law and tax law programs, both ranked in the top 10 nationally. The new program will serve UCLA Law students and all stakeholders in the nonprofit sector, convening practitioners, donors, regulators and those who run nonprofits. Initially, the program will focus on three main goals:
Become a research center that develops and shares scholarship and knowledge on issues relating to nonprofits with policymakers, regulators, lawyers and nonprofit senior managers.
Develop and expand education at UCLA Law for students, lawyers, directors and nonprofit senior managers on issues central to nonprofit operations and governance.
Support thought leadership on legal issues material to nonprofits, serving as an important resource for nonprofits and as a venue to bring together practitioners, scholars and regulators.
"Lowell Milken brought this new law and philanthropy program concept to us, showing incredible foresight about generational wealth transfer," said Joel Feuer, executive director of LMI. "Thanks to his investment in this idea, we are now ready to launch a pioneering effort that again has the potential to transform a field of law."
"The nonprofit sector is undergoing an epochal shift, and lawyers will be at the center of this transformation," said Professor Jill Horwitz, a renowned authority in the law of nonprofits and the program's inaugural faculty director. "UCLA Law and the Lowell Milken Institute now have the opportunity to lead the way in this especially relevant area."
ABOUT UCLA SCHOOL OF LAW
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is one of the top-ranked law schools in the country. Its faculty are among the most influential scholars in business law, constitutional law, critical race studies, environmental law, evidence, immigration, public interest law, tax and other fields. UCLA Law's 18,000-plus alumni work in nearly every state and more than 50 countries as leaders in government, industry, social justice and the legal profession. Committed to the University of California's mission of teaching, research and service, the school offers students a strong foundation in the law as well as practical training through a robust experiential education program.
Amylyx Pharmaceuticals | September 13, 2021
Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the donation of data from the CENTAUR clinical trial that evaluated the safety and efficacy of AMX0035 in participants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) database led by Alex Sherman at the Healey and AMG Center and Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) at Mass General Hospital. Amylyx also donated participants’ samples to the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) Biorepository housed at Mass General Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute.
“It is going to take a consolidated community effort to beat ALS. Sharing data and biological samples with integral databases and biorepositories can play an important role in treatment and care breakthroughs if they are continuously updated,” said Joshua Cohen, Co-CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder of Amylyx. “Keeping data fresh will give the ALS community the information it needs to identify new pathways and approaches to developing new treatments. We’re grateful to each CENTAUR participant who donated invaluable time and energy to the clinical trial, and without whom this resource would not be possible,” added Justin Klee, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Amylyx.
The PRO-ACT database, which is currently sponsored by The ALS Association and managed by the NCRI, houses the largest ALS clinical trials dataset, containing nearly 11,000 ALS patient records from 23 completed clinical trials. The platform harmonizes and merges anonymized data from existing publicly and privately conducted ALS clinical trials to generate a unique, freely available resource for the scientific community to find cures for ALS. The PRO-ACT platform was selected as the Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Awards winner in 2013 and The Clinical Informatics News Best Practices winner in Clinical Data Intelligence category in 2015.
The PRO-ACT platform was created by Prize4Life Israel, a non-profit organization, in partnership with NEALS and the NCRI at Mass General Hospital, and with initial funding from The ALS Therapy Alliance, Prize4Life, NCRI, and The ALS Association. To date, PRO-ACT has served as the primary data source for more than 70 publications and has been critical for numerous others. The platform has allowed researchers to better understand disease heterogeneity, develop novel predictive models of disease progression and has been a critical tool to support the design of several ALS clinical trials.
“The PRO-ACT platform is only as valuable as the data that is fed into it,” said Avi Kremer, Founder of Prize4Life, an ALS Association consultant, and a person living with ALS. “Having data that take into account the evolving approaches to ALS treatment and results from trials allows the community to build on past work and move us closer to a cure for this devastating disease.”
“Data that would otherwise normally sit with a company and not be accessible to researchers have become an invaluable resource, and most importantly, a freely shared one,” said Alex Sherman, Director of the Center for Innovation and Biomedical Informatics (CIB) at the Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) and Healey & AMG Center at Mass General, Principal Associate in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, leader of the team that created the PRO-ACT database, and the current Principal Investigator of the PRO-ACT platform. “Each learning brings us one step closer to better understanding, better diagnosing, and ultimately finding new or better treatments for ALS. We hope to see this momentum continue and more companies will follow Amylyx in data donations.”
Prize4Life is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate the discovery of treatments and a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) by using powerful incentives to attract new people and drive innovation. Prize4Life believes that solutions to some of the biggest challenges in ALS research will require out-of-the-box thinking, and that some of the most critical discoveries may come from unlikely places
About the Northeast ALS Consortium
The Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) is an international, independent, non-profit group of over 130 research sites around the world who collaboratively conduct clinical research in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other motor neuron diseases. The mission of NEALS is to translate scientific advances into new treatments for people with ALS and motor neuron disease as rapidly as possible. The NEALS network is governed by an Executive Committee and the Consortium research activities are advised by an experienced Scientific Advisory Board.
About Amylyx Pharmaceuticals
Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company working on developing a novel therapeutic for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases
Zing Health, Pledge 1% | September 07, 2021
Zing Health, a physician-founded-and-led provider of Medicare Advantage health plans, has made official its Pledge 1% program, raising its commitment to corporate philanthropy, community engagement, and STEM education.
The healthcare startup pledges 1% of its profit, equity, and staff time to support local nonprofit initiatives, amplifying the social impact goals of Zing Health's founders and employees.
"Our mission at Zing Health is to create a positive effect on our communities and ensure that everyone reaches optimal health," said Zing Health Founder and CEO Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. "Corporate philanthropy is an important component of that, and we encourage our employees to be a part of the solution."
As part of this mission, Zing Health is a partner in Pledge 1%, which champions corporate donations and public engagement among early-stage companies. Pledge 1% aims to make a difference in the world by inspiring startups to give 1% of their product, profit, equity, or employee time to a charity of their choosing. Its founding partners include Salesforce, Atlassian, and Rally (now Broadcom), three successful tech companies that have shown how pledging a small portion of future success today can have an enormous impact tomorrow.
"We are incredibly excited that Zing Health has taken the pledge," said Amy Lesnick, chief executive of Pledge 1%. "Zing Health can play a pivotal role in building this movement and promoting a new normal in which all companies—big and small—integrate giving back as a core value in their business."
Forging Ahead with Philanthropy
Zing Health has promised to donate 1% of future profits to local groups that address social determinants of health, including those who deal with community and workforce development or provide access to care, education, food, or housing. For example, Zing Health has teamed up with local food pantries, churches, and other not-for-profit groups to support and strengthen low-income families in the Chicago area through a collaboration with Acumen America.
"Addressing the disparities related to social determinants of health is a big part of Zing Health's mission to ensure equal and accessible healthcare to all," said Dr. Whitaker, who was named by Modern Healthcare this year as one of the nation's top population health innovators. "Everyone deserves the same care, regardless of their race, background, or situation."
As part of its pledge, Zing Health has seeded 1% of investor equity to the CPASS Foundation, a diversity STEM education initiative. CPASS partners with SMASH Academy, a college prep institute that provides students of color with viable pathways to healthcare careers. CPASS is also known for its Mini Medical School at Rush University and other programs to bring STEM education to underserved communities.
Volunteer Ethos Fosters Community Engagement
The company's workers have also pledged to spend at least 1% of their staff hours volunteering at local nonprofits. Zing Health lets them mark volunteer time off, and an internal leaderboard recognizes their initiative. As work patterns shift during the pandemic recovery, corporate events will incorporate offsite community engagement opportunities.
The policy allows Rachel Sobel, Zing Health corporate communications director, to log volunteer hours for Recovery Dharma, a peer-led recovery support community. She has also served as an election judge without needing to use valuable PTO time. "I would be leading meetings during evenings or weekends anyhow, but Zing Health lets me accomplish things I can do only during work hours, such as maintaining our group's website, doing outreach to treatment centers, or serving as an election judge," Sobel said.
Pledge 1% sharpens the Zing Health focus on volunteering and making a difference, continuing its mission to build better communities. Zing Health will align its strategy and work with the Pledge 1% community to make positive impacts and work towards ending disparities brought on by social determinants of health.
"We believe that a commitment like this is one that everyone should be pledging," Dr. Whitaker said. "Ideals like this have been part of our DNA since the beginning, and we strive to create a better world for the communities we serve."