- Vice President Joseph Biden has named Greg Simon to lead the Cancer Moonshot 2020 initiative. Simon, an advocate of genome sequencing as the basis for more effective treatments, founded the charity FasterCures in 2003 with funding from Michael Milken.
- Simon also has experience as a corporate executive, with time at Pfizer and as CEO of Poliwogg. Additionally, he served as an aide to Vice President Al Gore between 1991 and 1997, according to the New York Times.
- In June 2014, Simon was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). He has completed his first-round of chemotherapy and has recovered enough to take on the monumental task of leading the initiative.
Greg Simon is a long-time warrior for advancing the goals of curative medicine. However, going back to 2003 when he founded FasterCures, Simon has been at odds with some of the policies at the FDA and the NIH.
Like Biden, he has a personal experience with cancer and the barriers standing in the way of potential cures.
Simon's focus will be on advancing the goals of Cancer Moonshot 2020, both at the 'big picture' and granular levels. Broadly, the initiative has set a goal of conducting phase 2 trials in 20,000 patients across 20 different tumor types—and that's just in the first three years. Over the final two years, the Moonshot initiative hopes to move into phase 3 trials, with the ultimate goal of developing an effective immunotherapy-based vaccine against cancer by 2020.