Scientist donates proceeds of ovarian cancer drug to establish charitable fund

A scientist at Newcastle University, involved in the creation of Rubraca®, a new cancer drug that has been approved for use on the NHS, has donated her share of proceeds to the Community Foundation. The Curtin PARP (Passionate About Realising your Potential) Fund at the Community Foundation was established with a generous gift of nearly £865,000 by Professor Nicola Curtin and aims to help individuals realise their potential in life.

The Curtin PARP Fund at the Community Foundation will open in mid-January for applications, and support a range of activities to help people to develop the skills, talents and confidence to overcome barriers to employment or education. Priority will be given to carers, black and minority ethnic people, disabled people, homeless people and people who are experiencing disadvantage that prevents them from realising their potential.

The Fund is named after the drug, which is classed as a PARP inhibitor, and works by exploiting a defect in the cancer cell’s ability to repair normal wear and tear to its DNA. Research shows that the PARP inhibitor kills tumour cells without harming healthy cells, which is part of the ground-breaking research developed by scientists at Newcastle University, including Professor Nicola Curtin.

Professor Nicola Curtin says:

“I feel very privileged to have such a great career. By working with a team of scientists at Newcastle University to bring Rubraca® to market, we’ve created a cancer treatment that has the potential to change thousands of women’s lives.

“This journey has made me reflect on my own life, and it seems wrong for me to benefit from this financially. I’m proud that this research will change lives, and I have everything that I need in life – a good job, a loving family, a nice house, but in society there are many who do not have this.

“I know first-hand that people are capable of amazing things, but society sometimes doesn’t always allow people to reach their full potential. So, through the Curtin PARP Fund at the Community Foundation I want to leave a lasting legacy that will change lives for the better.”

For more information about applying to the Curtin PARP Fund at the Community Foundation visit