The Max Foundation is pleased to announce a significant expansion of its collaboration with Pfizer to provide access to some of Pfizer’s innovative oncology portfolio to patients in low- and middle-income countries, which otherwise would have limited local access. The latest agreement increases the total number of patients benefitting from the program from 270 to 500 patients and adds Inlyta® (axitinib) an oral medicine used to treat advanced kidney cancer.
Since 2015, more than 600 patients have benefitted from our collaboration with Pfizer. What began as a pilot program in 2015, offering one treatment to up to 30 patients, now includes five oral therapies and capacity for 500 patients that reach 52 countries.
“This is a big milestone for our collaboration with Pfizer, which has already had enormous impact on the lives of patients all over the world,” said Meg Mager, Senior Program Manager at The Max Foundation.
“We currently care for patients in 14 countries with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), who are enrolled in our program for Sutent® (sunitinib
malate). Having the ability to offer a second-line oral therapy for advanced RCC will allow eligible patients to possibly extend their treatment. It is especially critical for patients in lower resource settings because the usual cancer treatment alternative, chemotherapy, is not used for advanced kidney cancer.” In addition to Inlyta® and Sutent®, The Max Foundation-Pfizer collaboration also includes Torisel® (temsirolimus), an intravenous treatment for advanced RCC.
“The RCC patients are very difficult to diagnose and treat,” explains Dr. Ahmed Salem Ould Rajel, a physician and a urologist at Hopital Dalal Jamm, Senegal.
“In the beginning we tried to manage patients’ symptoms with the treatment available. But now with the access to Sutent® (sunitinib) we have more motivation.”
RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer accounting for ~90% of kidney cancer diagnoses. While in the United States RCC is generally detected in its early stages due to imaging for unrelated conditions, this is not the case in lower-income countries where such imaging is rare, and patients are often diagnosed at a more advanced stage of the disease. Targeted oral therapies and intravenous therapies are both used to treat patients with advanced RCC, depending on the patient’s disease progression.
“Pfizer has a strong commitment to enabling access to quality medicines for all people all around the world,” said Chris Ariyan, Pfizer Emerging Markets Group Lead for Oncology. “We are proud to partner with The Max Foundation for this expanded collaboration to help us reach more kidney cancer patients in lower and middle-income countries with the care they need.”
Along with Pfizer, the International Kidney Cancer Coalition has been a key partner in this multi-stakeholder collaboration, helping bridge education and awareness of kidney cancer in low- and middle-income (LMIC) countries. “Their expert team has educated us on the disease and treatment options, built awareness of our programs in the international kidney cancer community, and championed our programs and treatment access for patients in LMIC’s more broadly,” Meg said.
Dr. Rajel adds:
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient being saved, their health not deteriorating, and increasing their lifespan. It is a feeling that no one can describe. The access to Sutent® made this possible for patients who are diagnosed earlier [than 2019].”
We are thrilled to grow our collaboration with Pfizer and be able to offer access to additional patients who would otherwise have limited access to these important treatments.