Amgen and McKesson Launch Strategic Agreement to Advance Cancer Innovation in Communities

IndustryPRwire -- McKesson and Amgen, one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, have signed a strategic agreement to help improve cancer care in community oncology settings. Today, 1 in 5 cancer patients receives an Amgen medicine, while McKesson reaches 20% of U.S. cancer patients. This multi-year agreement bridges the power and reach of the two companies and will focus on reducing gaps in care by optimizing access to innovative precision medicine and immuno-oncology in the community setting.

Access to the latest innovations in cancer care is still very dependent on demographics, socioeconomic status, and where in the U.S. patients receive their care. Currently, the majority of new patients are first seen in the community setting,1 making community oncology practices increasingly critical to improved patient care. Community oncology providers also typically treat a more diverse patient population, providing the greatest opportunity to impact cancer care across dimensions, including rural populations.

Darryl Sleep, M.D., senior vice president, Global Medical and chief medical officer, Amgen Commented “Community oncology practices in the United States are the backbone of oncology care for the vast majority of patients. The COVID-19 pandemic further heightens the need to help strengthen that network as it has become imperative that people be treated closer to home, At Amgen, we believe that cancer patients and those who treat them deserve to have access to the latest innovations in care no matter where they live or practice. Together with McKesson, our ultimate goal is to help community oncologists and their teams have rapid access to the latest innovations and insights to provide the best care possible where patients need it most.”

Kirk Kaminsky, president of U.S. Pharmaceutical, McKesson, Commented, “The combined commitment of our organizations to optimize patient outcomes will change the future of cancer care. We look forward to working with Amgen and oncology providers to navigate the inherent complexity in cancer and make novel insights actionable and accessible at the exact point of need.”

This partnership will be led by OntadaTM, McKesson’s new oncology technology and insights business. Ontada is focused on helping life sciences companies like Amgen improve patient outcomes for cancer care, from early clinical development to drug commercialization and post-launch activation of insights, as well as empowering oncology providers at the point of need to deliver more-informed, more-effective, more-efficient care to their patients. Through real-world data gathered with Ontada’s proprietary technology for community oncology practices, such as those that are part of The US Oncology Network, Ontada has the real-world knowledge to help push cancer care forward.

Michael Seiden, MD, PhD, president, The US Oncology Network Commented “I have been an oncologist for 30 years, and we have never seen so much innovation, yet so many challenges, as we do today, Being able to contribute to such robust thought leadership and work with stakeholders like Ontada and Amgen allow us to really move the needle and enhance cancer care for the patients we serve in the community setting.”

Amgen and Ontada will launch various programs over the course of the partnership and build on projects that have already begun, such as those focusing on reducing gaps in molecular testing and understanding treatment patterns in the community setting. For example, Amgen and McKesson recently conducted real-world research to better understand patterns of molecular testing in advanced/metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with community oncologists with plans to publish the findings in early 2021. Through the strategic partnership, McKesson and Amgen hope to:

  • Elevate awareness on molecular testing in order to optimize care in patients that benefit from targeted therapy;
  • Uncover insights on unmet need and treatment outcomes by enriching data and insight capabilities;
  • Leverage real-world evidence to better understand and optimize the deployment of biosimilars to offer providers and their patients greater choice of therapies relative to value;
  • Co-develop new approaches to deliver immuno-oncology therapies in the community setting; and
  • Optimize therapy sequencing to improve patient outcomes including supportive care.

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