LOS ANGELES: Tech billionaire Sean Parker announced a $250 million grant on Wednesday to fund research aimed at breakthroughs in cancer treatment through immunotherapy.

Parker, the founder of music-sharing service Napster and an early investor and executive at Facebook, will create a center for immunotherapy -- which aims to use the body's immune system to fight the disease -- collaborating with six US-based cancer research institutions.

"We are at an inflection point in cancer research and now is the time to maximize immunotherapy's unique potential to transform all cancers into manageable diseases, saving millions of lives," said Parker, who last year created the Parker Foundation.

"We believe that the creation of a new funding and research model can overcome many of the obstacles that currently prevent research breakthroughs. Working closely with our scientists and more than 30 industry partners, the Parker Institute is positioned to broadly disseminate discoveries and, most importantly, more rapidly deliver treatments to patients."

Parker, 36, and his wife Alexandra marked the launch with a glittering gala dinner at their $50 million, nine-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion, bought from comedian and presenter Ellen DeGeneres in 2014.

Stars including Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Sean Penn and Bradley Cooper attended alongside tech industry leaders such as Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Anne Wojcicki of Google and Laurene Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs.