Only about half of women infected with ovarian cancer survive five years after diagnosis. AstraZeneca is partnering with a group of doctors and a network of patient advocacy groups to try to reverse this grim figure. The pharma behemoth from the United Kingdom has announced the Ovarian Cancer Commitment, which aims to improve safety and quality of life for women diagnosed with the condition. In an interview, Andy Barnett, AstraZeneca’s global franchise head for GU and GYN cancers, said that medicines will get us farther, but a real partnership among stakeholders is required if we’re going to enhance survival rate for these patients.
The OCC is the result of two years of collaboration between AZ, the European Network of Gynaecological Cancer Advocacy Groups (ENGAGe) which is a network of over 70 patient advocacy groups from Europe, and the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESCGO), dedicated to gynaec cancer care.
The cooperation intends to increase accessibility to testing, genetic and biomarker screening, and specialised therapy while also discovering improved strategies to assist women living with the condition through focusing on best practises. The organization’s first objective is to expand a patient information pathway created by a patient activist group from Hungary. The coalition was impressed by the program’s ability to navigate patients through every stage of their ovarian cancer journey, according to Barnett, and hopes to spread it all across Europe and eventually globally.
Barnett adds that they liked the concept of not only delivering the facts and clinical explanations of what was occurring at each step, but the experience as well and emotions patients would be feeling. It wasn’t like something they would have seen before. Another objective is to increase the number of ovarian cancer specialised care centres to enhance access to high-quality care. Despite the fact that ovarian cancer is the worst of all gynaecological cancers, ESGO has accumulated evidence that the quality of the surgery used to eliminate it can influence the result.
In order to “create a movement,” the alliance is encouraging additional professional groups, patient groups, and pharmaceutical firms to join the initiative. AZ offers financial resources and skills in marketing and disease awareness, while ESGO and ENGAGe share oncologist and patient viewpoints, respectively, as per Barnett.
There is a meaningful difference for these patients if one can get the alchemy perfected between patients, professional societies, and industry. Lynparza, a top-selling PARP inhibitor co-developed by AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., is used to treat women with advanced ovarian cancer who either have or don’t have BRCA mutations. The medicine competes in the marketplace with GlaxoSmithKline’s Zejula and Clovis Oncology’s Rubraca, with both having numerous cancer indications. Last year, it generated $2.35 billion in sales for AZ.