Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center receives $710.5 million gift to accelerate cancer and infectious disease research

The landmark gift from the Bezos family will fund multiple scientific priorities, including clinical trials support, new translational research capabilities and recruitment

SEATTLE — October 12, 2022 — The Bezos family has committed $710.5 million over the next decade to accelerate Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center’s multifaceted approach to scientific discovery. The gift supports the organization’s efforts to dramatically accelerate the pace and breadth of medical breakthroughs in cancer and infectious disease by tapping the full potential of today’s science. Organizational leaders expect these efforts to require $3 billion in philanthropic support over the next decade and believe this gift will inspire additional donor support.

This is the second transformational donor commitment made to Fred Hutch in the past two months; a gift of $78 million from Stuart and Molly Sloan was announced in September. Both gifts follow the recent merger that united Fred Hutch — a top scientific research center — with clinical care partner Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Fred Hutch, an independent organization, now serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program.

“As long-time Fred Hutch supporters, we were encouraged to see the recent merger expand its capacity to aggressively investigate and treat cancer and infectious diseases,” said Mike Bezos. “Science, particularly cancer and virus research, is at such a pivotal point right now. We hope our investment in the Hutch leads to answers for the most pressing medical questions. We also hope this inspires others to join us now in pursuing scientific and medical breakthroughs.”

Bezos continued, “Fred Hutch’s collaborative culture and new organizational structure improves the patient experience and closes the gap between labs and clinics. It is because of this commitment to collaboration and innovation that we previously supported the Hutch. Over time, we’ve watched as Fred Hutch then discovered new cancer immunotherapies and advanced infectious disease research.”

The landmark gift builds on previous Bezos family funding for research in immunotherapy treatments using the body’s own immune system to attack cancerous or diseased cells. Fred Hutch is a world leader in developing immunotherapies and prior support from the family led to the opening of a first-of-its-kind, patient-centered clinic to provide novel cell therapies to people with a variety of cancers.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Bezos family for sharing our sense of urgency to make discoveries that save lives and for understanding the enormity of that challenge,” said Dr. Thomas J. Lynch, president and director of Fred Hutch and holder of the Raisbeck Endowed Chair. “As we saw in the global response to COVID-19, scientific progress can move quickly when leading experts are rapidly provided with the resources needed and when organizations from across the world work together.”

Fred Hutch plans to further develop systems that stimulate the ability of discoveries in one area of science to advance others, both internally and via global collaborations with new and established partners.

To enable that vision, the gift will support the following key priorities over the next 10 years:

  • Recruitment ($300 million): This gift will enable Fred Hutch to recruit about 36 new researchers from a variety of scientific areas, including early- and mid-career researchers and senior scientists. The funding includes resources for lab space, equipment, and technology for Fred Hutch’s collaborative research environment.
  • Research facilities ($225 million): This funding will go toward the construction of a new, 390,000-square-foot research building on Fred Hutch’s Seattle campus that will house the Stuart and Molly Sloan Precision Oncology Institute, which was announced last month. The building will provide space for researchers, their teams and new technologies and equipment.  
  • Clinical research infrastructure ($149.5 million): Expansion of institution-wide clinical research capabilities will allow for more collaborations between bench scientists and clinicians, more clinical trials to be available to more patients, and increased study enrollment of individuals from diverse backgrounds. The Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic provides a model for bringing breakthrough treatment more quickly to patients.
  • Expanding immunotherapy research ($36 million): Funding for the Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center at Fred Hutch will expand immune-based strategies for treating cancer and our understanding of underlying biological mechanisms for how immunotherapy works.

“The ecosystem that drives new treatments for cancer and other diseases relies on fundamental discoveries and innovations that come from our nation’s cancer centers and other research organizations,” Lynch said. “Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries play a critical role in developing treatments, but they depend on us to fuel that work. With significant investment in the source of discoveries we can maximize the collective potential of this ecosystem to more rapidly produce cures,” he added. “That is why this landmark gift is so important. It will directly accelerate our ability to make breakthroughs because the gift strategically targets growing our research pipeline, increasing collaboration, expanding clinical trials and investing in research infrastructure.”

The family’s previous investments in Fred Hutch’s research have contributed to:

“We hope this announcement highlights the science happening at Fred Hutch as they pursue a future where cures exist for cancer and infectious diseases. It is also a call to action to support the science and be a part of the next breakthroughs,” said Jackie Bezos. “When we come together, we are bigger than the problems facing us. Let’s make the impossible, possible.”  

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center unites comprehensive care and advanced research to provide the latest cancer treatment options and accelerate discoveries that prevent, treat and defeat cancer and infectious diseases worldwide.

Based in Seattle, Fred Hutch is an independent, nonprofit organization and the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in Washington. We have earned a global reputation for our track record of discoveries in cancer, infectious disease and basic research, including important advances in bone marrow transplantation, HIV/AIDS prevention, immunotherapy and COVID-19 vaccines. Fred Hutch operates eight clinical care sites that provide medical oncology, infusion, radiation, proton therapy and related services and has network affiliations with hospitals in four states. Fred Hutch also serves as UW Medicine’s cancer program.

Please note that our organization was renamed Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in April 2022, following the merger of long-time partners, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.