I’m Fueling Change: Faramarz Yousefzadeh

Faramarz Yousefzadeh’s family was devastated when his wife, Afsaneh, was diagnosed with glioblastoma in January 2011. 

“Before our eyes, a beautiful, healthy wife, mother of three children, a sister, and a cherished friend to so many, withered and melted away,” Faramarz painfully recounts.

Afsaneh passed away in 2016, and for Faramarz and his family, “life was never the same.”

A lawyer and investor by background, Faramarz had already successfully co-founded a biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by drug industry giant, Teva Pharmaceutical, at the time of his wife’s passing. He chose to turn his pain into purpose, and use his knowledge of the drug development industry to fight back against the disease that took so much from him. 

From his personal and professional experience, Faramarz knew all too well that the clinical trial process for glioblastoma patients was struggling to deliver outcomes that advanced treatment options at a speed that matched the urgent unmet medical needs of brain tumor patients. Faramarz has now dedicated himself to transforming glioblastoma research and the clinical trial landscape, serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR), a nonprofit organization focused on expediting the discovery and development of cures for patients with rare and deadly diseases. As its first priority, GCAR has launched GBM AGILE, a new adaptive clinical trial platform trial for patients with glioblastoma, which NBTS has invested more than $1.25 million to support. 

“GBM AGILE promises to get potential drugs to patients faster,” says Faramarz. “It creates a learning environment where we can test drug combinations, assesses quickly if they are effective, and it levels the playing field for patients by offering them a much higher chance of getting into meaningful experimental therapy….Most importantly, it allows international collaboration between the best and brightest scientists to find a cure.”

Since taking this position, Faramarz has played a critical role in turning the dream of a new way of running clinical trials for brain tumor patients into a reality. In 2019, with NBTS’s support and Faramarz leadership, the new GBM AGILE clinical trial has opened for patient enrollment at eight hospitals and cancer centers (and counting) across the United States. 

Faramarz is FUELING CHANGE in the way glioblastoma research and clinical trials are conducted to the benefit of patients and their families. 


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