First to See the Light

ST Supports 6th Annual World Polio Day

GREENWICH, Conn., PRNewswire/ — Spencer Trask & Co., a privately held advanced technology development firm, joins UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as sponsor of World Polio Day on Oct. 24, 2018. This is the sixth year Rotary International is producing the event to raise awareness for the global eradication of polio.

Rotary is live streaming its event activities from the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, PA in the hopes of bringing together more than 100,000 viewers around the world at Guests include global health experts and Rotary’s celebrity polio ambassadors, along with Jeffrey Kluger, senior editor for Time magazine, who will discuss his experience traveling to Nigeria with Rotary to report on polio eradication.

Spencer Trask & Co. Chairman Kevin Kimberlin, has been personally and professionally supportive of the eradication of polio since joining forces with renowned polio vaccine pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk in 1986.

“This event is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Rotary International and those individuals who have been working toward this end since Dr. Salk developed the first polio vaccine, which is the standard of care around the world today,” said Kimberlin. “It’s a privilege to be a part of this monumental effort, as we’re on the cusp of total eradication of one of history’s most feared diseases.”

This year Rotary celebrates the 30th anniversary of the founding of its Global Polio Eradication Initiative and pledged more than $96.5 million in new grants to fund global efforts to eradicate polio.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

About Rotary International
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit and for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.

About Spencer Trask & Co.
Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development company. The firm works with entrepreneurs and corporate partners to start and incubate high impact ventures that change the world. Spencer Trask & Co. has been instrumental in the formative stage of companies that pioneered many technological advances scientific advancements in the field of genomics, healthcare, mobile technology, global communications and open innovation. Please visit for additional information.

The Immune Response Corporation

Revolution in Immunotherapy

DISCOVERY – Non-infectious viral vaccines.

INNOVATOR – In the history of medicine, few figures have had as profound an impact on human health and wellbeing as Dr. Jonas Salk. His polio vaccine breakthrough was the culmination of centuries of research, dating back to Louis Pasteur discovering inoculation. However, Salk’s method was different. He found a way to protect people from viruses without giving them the very disease the vaccine was designed to prevent.

Using this no-infection method, Salk worked with Kevin Kimberlin of Spencer Trask to develop cancer vaccines and an immunotherapeutic to slow or prevent AIDS. They patented and conducted preclinical studies on a cancer vaccine that demonstrated a startling 90% protection against lethal malignancies. 

IMPACT – A fusion of dendritic cells and the cancer antigen, their technology formed the basis for the first FDA-approved cell-based immunotherapy. Over 40,000 men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer have received the treatment, and it appears especially effective for African-American men who receive a 48% improved survival benefit compared to white men.

The team and facility making this immunotherapy also made clinical and commercial supplies of the first approved gene therapy, the CAT-T drug Kymriah.

The first approved cell-base immunotherapy and gene therapy prompted the FDA Commissioner to say, “New technologies such as gene and cell therapies hold out the potential to transform medicine and create an inflection point in our ability to treat and even cure many intractable illnesses.”

The noninfectious vaccine approach developed by Jonas Salk eliminated polio from the developed countries, his flu vaccine mitigated the effects of influenza for the past 75 years, and finally, the cancer vaccine developed at his Immune Response Corporation led the way to gene, cell-based, and immune therapy innovations that will impact human health for generations. In summary, Salk released the last step in enabling the most important preventative medicine – non-infectious viral vaccination.