June 6, 2010

Partnering for the Patient, Louise Perkins, PhD

Greetings from Chicago. On Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting here, MMRF and MMRC representatives met with 10 pharmaceutical companies throughout the day on the subject of new drugs for myeloma patients. This is such an important activity for us to undertake on behalf of patients, because it is through these kinds of discussions that the MMRF and MMRC identifies partnerships that will catalyze the advancement of new drugs. Also, we work diligently to advocate for myeloma therapeutics development since companies don't routinely prioritize myeloma: unfortunately the market incentives are not perceived as being as great as in some other cancer fields like breast cancer or colon cancer.

What was gratifying in our meetings with companies and is encouraging for patients is that companies recognize the achievements of the MMRF and MMRC and are willing to try to work with us in a number of different ways to move new agents forward. One way to work together is towards prioritization of which drugs should be accelerated into trials using pre-clinical myeloma-specific models - and that is where the MMRC Validation Team plays a key role. Yesterday's meeting confirmed the interest in this valuable activity of the MMRC Validation Team.

Related to this and very importantly, companies are continuing to generate new and different drugs that will complement the currently used treatments and, in the future, help those patients who have run out of options. The MMRF and MMRC are working with companies and with the support of patients to push and advance those new treatments as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some of our discussions are sure to lead to new trials and new drugs that may benefit patients is years to come.