Julia and David Koch Make Visionary $10 Million Gift to Establish New Clinical Research Unit for Allergy and Asthma
Issued by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health
Palo Alto, Calif. – February 15, 2017 – Julia and David Koch have announced a generous gift of $10 million to establish a new unit at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for clinical research. The unit will operate within the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, which is home to the groundbreaking allergy and asthma clinical trials led by Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD.
Nadeau directs the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research, one of the world’s first coordinated efforts to combine lab research, clinical research, and compassionate patient care across all types of allergies. While Nadeau conducts lab research on the Stanford University campus, she currently conducts clinical research off campus at a Packard Children’s-licensed unit within El Camino Hospital in Mountain View.
Thanks to the Kochs’ generous gift, Nadeau and her team will expand their clinical research to a redesigned unit within Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in 2018. Packard Children’s is currently nearing completion on a major expansion which will subsequently free up space for Nadeau’s research. With its location on the Stanford campus, the new site for clinical trials will enable Nadeau’s team to expand research to better understand the underlying cause of allergies and to develop a lasting cure. It will also bring them within walking distance of Nadeau’s research lab and other physicians and researchers working together at Stanford to advance allergy and asthma research.
"We made this gift with the goal of bringing better and safer treatments to more children and adults suffering from dangerous allergies," said Julia F. Koch, whose family has experienced firsthand the anxiety of living with food allergies, as well as the life-changing effects of a clinical trial to safely desensitize the allergies. "Through this gift, we hope to advance innovative research and allow more individuals and families to enjoy fuller lives."
“Mr. and Mrs. Koch’s thoughtful investment will have a tremendous impact on the care and treatment we provide for children and families with allergies and asthma,” says Nadeau. “Children and families with food allergies often live in constant fear of life-threatening reactions. We are determined to use innovative research and provide compassionate care to move the science forward in a transformative way to ensure a safer future. I am tremendously grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Koch for their gift to establish a new clinic, which will play an integral role in advancing this work at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research. Together, we will make a difference not only for those participating in clinical trials at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, but for all individuals with allergies who may one day benefit from research toward better, safer, and lasting therapies.”
Allergies and asthma are on the rise around the world, including in the United States. Allergies occur in all ages and can range from allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and allergic gastrointestinal disease to drug allergies and food allergies. Severe food allergies are a growing epidemic, with rates having doubled in the last decade. About one in three Americans suffer from some form of allergy, and doctor-diagnosed food allergies affect one in 12 American children under the age of 21 and one in about 50 adults. Of those individuals with a food allergy, approximately 25 percent will have a near-fatal anaphylactic reaction at some point in their lives. It is estimated that $25 billion is spent annually on reactive food allergy care.
Nadeau, who is also the Naddisy Foundation Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, developed the first combination multi-food-allergy therapy for patients with more than one food allergy. The new unit at Packard Children’s will put her team within closer proximity to colleagues in immunology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, chemistry, bioengineering, pathology, pulmonology, and genetics at Stanford University who are contributing to this important collaborative work.
Cristyne L. Nicholas
Spokesperson for the David H. Koch family