Note: President Joe Biden launched a “Cancer Moonshot” initiative in February that aims to reduce cancer deaths by 50% over the next 25 years. This is part of a series of posts from cancer experts offering advice to help you succeed at the moonshot. Related, upcoming 3rd Forbes China Healthcare Summit” on August 27 (August 26 ET) will address “New International Guidelines for a Reignited Moonshot” as this year’s main theme. Registration is free. For more information, please contact: email@example.com
Beijing CEO and co-founder John V. Euler made a mark in the international fight against cancer by leading the first company to develop a drug in China that received FDA approval in 2019 — the anti-cancer drug, Brookinsa, Beijing A global company with administrative offices in Basel, Beijing and Cambridge.
The Pennsylvania-born entrepreneur’s success – he has a net worth of more than $1 billion on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires list – has given him insight into the role accessibility of clinical trials plays in bringing promising new cancer drugs to large populations in the United States and both countries. Worldwide
“Enrollment in clinical trials is beyond the reach of many patients,” Euler noted in written comments about the cancer moonshot. “Trials are often conducted at major clinical centers, and an unexpected result is that participants are limited in terms of cancer type, race or ethnicity, geography, and socioeconomic background. Many more hospitals and community oncology practices treating patients with cancer are supported to participate in clinical trials and should be equipped, he said. This would reduce barriers to participation in clinical trials and allow all patients to receive innovative investigational drugs, while also improving the diversity of the patient population and the robustness of the data,” he said.
“This means that industry must build relationships with community hospitals and physicians, to help them build the skills and capacity to participate in clinical trials and contribute high-quality data,” Oyler advises. For its part, Beijing launched a Clinical Trial Diversity Initiative last year to support training, patient education, and advocacy efforts for clinicians and staff.
Additionally, Oyler said, “Accelerating science for all and advancing multi-regional clinical trials for innovative therapies will enable the industry to accelerate enrollment by providing a broader population of potential trial participants and enable more diverse racial and ethnic representation.”
“As the industry expands the quality of recruiting clinical trial participants in the US, it is important to highlight that investment in the US alone will not be enough to fight cancer. In advanced economies like the United States, there is a growing shortage of people eligible for clinical trials, because many have access to drugs outside of the clinical trial setting, there are fewer ‘treatment naïve’ patients, and clinical trials are often limited to major medical centers,” Oyler said.
For example, Beijing has trial sites in 45 countries and has received approval from regulatory authorities covering 50 countries and territories for Brookinsa to date.
Further, he said, the industry — in collaboration with health authorities and regulators — must continue to explore ways to better prioritize patient-reported outcomes and develop tools to quantify patient experience and quality of life. “An example of this is FDA’s ongoing dialogue with stakeholders in the Patient Focused Drug Development initiative,” Oyler said.
Finally, while the ambitious goals of the cancer moonshot are both “noble and vital,” it’s equally important to consider how to expand access to existing drugs — an effort he calls for. “Project Groundshot.”
“That’s why we recently joined the Access to Oncology Medicines Coalition, an initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control to build supply capacity and expand access to life-saving cancer therapies in low- and middle-income countries. Initiatives like the Alliance emphasize the potential of public-private partnerships to bridge a geographic gulf in cancer care,” he concluded.
See related posts:
Meet the scientist coordinating Joe Biden’s new cancer moonshot
“Why is cancer less important for a faster cure than Covid?”: Cancer Moonshot Pathways
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Fuel the fight against cancers that affect children: Cancer Moonshot Pathways
Breaking through barriers to drive progress: the cancer moonshot pathway
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Accelerate cures through international collaboration in clinical trials: the cancer moonshot pathway
Close the gap between discovery research and patient care: the cancer moonshot pathway