Availability of Novartis Scemblix® (asciminib) starting in 2023 helps ensure people living with later lines of CML in low-income countries have access to the latest innovation

SEATTLE – Dec. 12, 2022 – The Max Foundation (Max), a global nonprofit organization that aims to accelerate health equity by delivering medication, technology, and supportive services to patients globally, will launch access to the Novartis therapy Scemblix® (asciminib) in 36 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in 2023 for people living with chronic myeloid leukemia as part of the CancerPath to Care collaboration with Novartis.

“Being able to make Scemblix accessible to patients in the lowest income economies in close parallel to the launch in high-income countries represents our shared vision of health equity,” said Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, CEO of The Max Foundation. “Thanks to the commitment of Novartis, with the addition of Scemblix next year, our partner physicians can now request this innovative treatment for patients who need it urgently and for whom no other treatment option is available, bringing hope to patients and their families.”

Since 2002, The Max Foundation and Novartis have helped more than 90,000 patients in LMICs access treatment for CML and other rare cancers including Novartis developed therapies Glivec® (imatinib) and Tasigna® (nilotinib). Earlier this year, Novartis and Max launched CancerPath to Care, an expansion of their 20-year collaboration to provide access to CML and other rare cancer therapies to include treatments for breast cancer.

The addition of Scemblix to the collaboration will offer a new therapeutic option to patients with CML who fail at least two prior tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatments. A retrospective analysis of patients treated through The Max Foundation access model for CML in LMICs demonstrated concordant outcomes to high-income settings.1  

“Reaching patients in LMICs requires operational excellence and deep commitment—The Max Foundation has a two-decade track record as a leader in treatment delivery,” said Dr Lutz Hegemann, President, Global Health and Sustainability, Novartis. “We are proud of what our collaboration with The Max Foundation has achieved. We are committed to helping ensure that our innovative medicines are accessible to as many patients as possible, irrespective of where they live.”

The Max Foundation provides access to innovative medicines in LMICs through Max Access Solutions (MAS), a proprietary access model that harnesses the power of partnerships and prioritizes individual patients’ needs to improve outcomes for cancer in low-resource healthcare settings. A real-time program management tool tracks the treatment life cycle of each patient enrolled in MAS, including any changes to a patient’s medication, dosage, or diagnostic needs. Patients enrolled in the program receive the medication and support free of charge. MAS currently includes 570 physicians from 383 hospitals and clinics in over 70 low-resource countries.

In addition to Novartis, The Max Foundation partners with BMS, Cepheid, Incyte, Pfizer and Takeda to provide six CML medicines and diagnostics to patients living in lower-income settings as part of the organization’s Humanitarian Partnership for Access to Cancer Treatment (PACT). The Humanitarian 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 and rare diseases. Partners gain collaborative knowledge and access to the Foundation’s global network of partner institutions and physicians, local patient associations, and distribution partners in 70+ countries.

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

# # #

1 Umeh C, Garcia-Gonzalez P, Tremblay D, Lang R. The Survival of patients enrolled in a global direct-to-patient cancer medicine program: The Glivec International Patient Assistance Program (GIPAP), Lancet 2020