Developing the next generation of cancer treatments requires more than a concept and compelling data. It requires passion, collaboration and ground-breaking science.
Each one of the estimated 1.7 million people in the United States who will be diagnosed with cancer this year represents a family facing a devastating diagnosis. That’s why all of us at AstraZeneca are working relentlessly to develop medicines that have the potential to help – and it’s why we work toward the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer as a cause of death.
Here are five ways we’re working to improve and potentially extend the lives of patients and give them more precious time with their families:
1. Amplifying the difference-makers. We’re working alongside advocacy organizations to increase awareness about the resources they offer to those who need them – advocates play a critical role in supporting and educating patients, caregivers and families facing cancer. We’ve compiled a list of devoted advocates and organizations that we will be listening to and amplifying on social media during #ASCO18 and beyond.
2. Forming partnerships. We know that fighting cancer requires teamwork. So, we’ve partnered with the broader community that shares our collective goal of bringing life-changing medicines to cancer patients most in need. Our partnerships have enabled us to work with leading academic and biotech companies, governments and health institutions to encourage innovation and explore emerging technologies. For example, one of our partnerships is designed to potentially bring about important new therapies for certain blood cancers, while another is focused on accelerating the delivery of new medicines.
3. Pushing the boundaries of science. Over the past several decades, our scientists have gained a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer, but there is still much to discover. For example, we have learned how the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can drive cancer to grow, how cancer cells can enlist programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) to evade the immune system, and how inhibiting poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) can potentially treat advanced breast and ovarian cancers, and we are evaluating the role an investigational agent that is part of our antibody-drug conjugate platform can play in the treatment of certain blood cancers. We have leveraged each learning to bring about new treatments that can fight cancer in different ways. These efforts have resulted in nine FDA approvals since March 2017. While this progress is encouraging, the cancer treatment landscape continues to evolve, and we must change with it. Our early discoveries and screening capabilities allow us to leverage the latest technology to screen thousands of compounds a day to identify molecules with the potential to inhibit or activate cancer cells. Our pipeline continues to expand, targeting difficult-to-treat diseases, including lung, ovarian, breast, bladder and blood cancers.
4. Putting patients first. We believe people who need our medicines should have access to them, so we work hard to establish and improve access to treatment for everyone, particularly those who have no insurance or are denied access to appropriate medicine. For more than 35 years, we’ve offered patient assistance programs. Our AZ&ME™ programs provide free medicines to qualifying people without insurance, those in Medicare Part D and those who have faced a financial crisis recently. Additionally, programs like Access 360™ help commercially insured patients and healthcare providers navigate insurance coverage and administrative challenges and connect them to the right services for financial support.
5. Sharing a common purpose. AstraZeneca is focused on bringing innovative medicines to patients who need them, and to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. From LVNG With, a community for lung cancer patients, to Beyond Pink, a program that provides tools and information to women with metastatic breast cancer, our teams strive every day to provide support and resources to those who need them. And most importantly, we are following the science to bring us closer to eliminating cancer as a cause of death. At the end of the day, patients need more time – that’s what matters.
US-20440 Last Updated 5/18