Seattle, WA – October 27, 2022 — The Max Foundation (Max), a global non-profit organization that aims to accelerate health equity by delivering medication, technology, and supportive services to cancer patients, today announced a multi-stakeholder collaboration to improve outcomes for people living with HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The Humanitarian Partnership for Access to Cancer Treatments (PACT) is a collaboration among professional, nonprofit and commercial organizations that share the commitment of The Max Foundation to increase global access to treatment, care, and support for people living with cancer. Next year, The Max Foundation will expand this innovative partnership model to include treatment for advanced breast cancer. Founding partners of the Humanitarian PACT for Advanced Breast Cancer include the ABC Global Alliance, the American Society of Clinical Pathology, Cepheid and Novartis AG. Novartis is a member of the Humanitarian PACT through CancerPath to Care, an access partnership between Max and Novartis that provides innovative medicines free of charge to people living with certain cancers in more than 70 lower-income countries.

“While there is great worldwide awareness of breast cancer today, the urgent needs of people living with advanced breast cancer in low-resource countries have been overlooked. Expanding our focus to include advanced breast cancer is in line with our commitment to helping those whom no one else is helping,” said Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, CEO of The Max Foundation.  “We are humbled by the opportunity to address the leading cause of cancer deaths among women globally and grateful to our founding partners who share our belief that geography should not be destiny for people living with advanced breast cancer in low-resource countries,”

Partners in the Humanitarian PACT for Advanced Breast Cancer have agreed to invest resources and/or their unique organizational knowledge and capabilities to support the expansion of the Organization’s Max Access Solutions (MAS) to provide access to treatment for HR positive/HER2 negative advanced breast cancer. MAS is a proven treatment access model that harnesses the power of partnerships and prioritizes individual patients’ needs to improve outcomes for cancer in low-resource healthcare settings. More than 100,000 people have received access to treatment through MAS, which now operates in over 70 low-resource countries.

Preparations underway for launch of the new initiative include engagement of additional partners, expansion of in-country teams, growth of the physician network to treat patients and introduction of health systems strengthening programs such as diagnostics and supportive care. Patients enrolled in the program will receive the medication and support free-of-charge. In collaboration with its partners, Max will initially provide access to breast cancer treatments to patients in five countries next year, expanding to 28 countries by 2025. With the addition of breast cancer, starting in 2023, The Max Foundation will provide access to cancer treatments for 12 different diseases in over 70 low-resource countries. 

Breast Cancer in LMICS

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Approximately 2.2 million cases occur each year worldwide with about 700,00 deaths annually. An estimated 45% of new cases diagnosed each year, and more than 55% of breast cancer related deaths occur in LMICs. Managing breast cancer in low-resource countries poses unique challenges including access to screening and timely diagnosis, stage at presentation, adequacy of management and availability of therapeutic interventions. For example, routine pathology, diagnostic exams and standard breast cancer medicines are often unavailable. Breast cancer is usually diagnosed at late stages, and due to limited resources, patients with breast cancer may receive inadequate treatment including supportive and palliative care.

About The Max Foundation

The Max Foundation (Max) is a global health nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating health equity. For 25 years, Max has pioneered practical, scalable, high-quality solutions to bring lifesaving treatments and patient-centered health care to more than 100,000 people living with cancer and critical illness in low- and middle-income countries. Max believes in a world where all people can access high-impact medicines, where geography is not destiny, and where everyone can strive for health with dignity and with hope. Learn more at www.themaxfoundation.org

Quotes from our Partners about expansion of Humanitarian PACT to Advance Breast Cancer

ABC Global Alliance

“The ABC Global Alliance defined the most urgent and actionable goals in the field of metastatic/advanced breast cancer, with and for the patients, that comprise the ABC Global Charter. Ensuring that patients with ABC have access to treatment regardless of their ability to pay, is one of such goals. We are honored and proud to be part of this initiative that will greatly contribute to this goal.”

Fatima Cardoso, Director of the Breast Unit, Champalimaud Clinical Centre, Lisbon, Portugal and President of the ABC Global Alliance

American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP)

 “An accurate diagnostic test is at the core of every successfully treated cancer patient. Ensuring that every patient receives an accurate, rapid diagnosis for their cancer is at the heart of ASCP’s patient-centric global health mission. We are thrilled for the Max Foundation to tackle one of the major killers of women, breast cancer, and are delighted to support the diagnostic quality assurance with Max for this impactful effort.”

ASCP CEO Dr. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM


“Breast cancer diagnostics are a major focus area of the oncology efforts at Cepheid, so we are thrilled at this opportunity to extend our successful ten-year partnership with the Max Foundation to help patients with advanced breast cancer get the diagnosis and treatment that they need.”

Scott Campbell, SVP and GM for Oncology at Cepheid.

Novartis AG

“Novartis is committed to helping ensure that our medicines are accessible to as many patients as possible, irrespective of the country in which they live. Our two-decade long partnership with The Max Foundation which has helped tens of thousands of patients access innovative oncology medicines reflects this commitment. We are excited to expand our collaboration with Max and all the partners in the Humanitarian PACT to improve outcomes for people living with advanced breast cancer in low-resource countries.”

Dr. Lutz Hegemann, President Global Health & Sustainability, Novartis AG

About the ABC Global Alliance

Established in 2016, the ABC Global Alliance was originated as an initiative of the European School of Oncology and registered as a non-profit association in Portugal in 2019.  It is a multi-stakeholder platform for all those interested in collaborating on common projects relating to advanced breast cancer (ABC), aiming to improve and extend the lives of women and men living with ABC worldwide and to fight for a cure. It consists of more than 200 members across 93 countries. Learn more at: www.abcglobalalliance.org

About American Society of Clinical Pathology

The American Society for Clinical Pathology unites more than 100,000 anatomic and clinical pathologists, medical laboratory professionals, residents, and students to accelerate the advancement of laboratory medicine to better improve patient care through knowledge, collaboration, and global community. Visit https://www.ascp.org/content/home 

About Cepheid

Based in Sunnyvale, Calif., Cepheid is a leading molecular diagnostics company that is dedicated to improving healthcare by developing, manufacturing, and marketing accurate yet easy-to-use molecular systems and tests. By automating highly complex and time-consuming manual procedures, the company’s solutions deliver a better way for institutions of any size to perform sophisticated molecular testing for organisms and genetic-based diseases. Through its strong molecular biology capabilities, the company is focusing on those applications where accurate, fast, and actionable test results are needed most, such as managing infectious diseases and cancer. For more information, visit www.cepheid.com.

About Novartis

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.