NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb has joined the MMRF pre-competitive consortium (PCC) to discover and accelerate new approaches to treating multiple myeloma through the organization’s Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI).
“Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer and there remains a high unmet medical need for these patients”
The cornerstone of the PMI is the landmark MMRF CoMMpass℠ Study (Relating Clinical Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma to Personal Assessment of Genetic Profile), which will follow 1,000 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients over five years to understand the molecular changes underpinning the progression of the disease. The study, which opened to enrollment in July 2011, has 50 active sites that have screened more than 200 patients to date.
“Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer and there remains a high unmet medical need for these patients,” said Joe Leveque, M.D., Vice President of U.S. Oncology Medical Strategy at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are pleased to join with the MMRF on this collaborative approach to research, which highlights Bristol-Myers Squibb’s commitment to seeking advances in care for patients with hematological malignancies. It also underscores our commitment to incorporating personalized medicine approaches into the drug development process for oncology, including multiple myeloma, as a way to improve patient outcomes.”
Members of the PCC, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and several academic and non-profit entities, provide scientific and financial support for the PMI. This innovative, collaborative and diverse partnership structure provides researchers access to the findings from the PMI, including CoMMpass, to identify and advance personalized treatment approaches at an accelerated pace.
“Our partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb is a vital component of the PMI, as it signifies the growing interest among the industry’s oncology leaders to drive scientific and clinical innovation through new models of collaboration,” stated Walter M. Capone, Chief Operating Officer of the MMRF and the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). “We applaud Bristol-Myers Squibb and all of the members of the PCC for their vision, commitment, and support of our mission to accelerate the translation of research findings into therapeutic advancements for patients. We look forward to working closely with the Bristol-Myers Squibb team to deliver personalized approaches to even more effectively treat this difficult disease.”
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2012, more than 20,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $200 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four four-star rating for nine consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.