More than 50 molecules in development for diseases ranging from tumors to fibrosis, from multiple sclerosis to psoriasis. More than $ 9 billion invested in research in 2020 globally. More than 120 studies underway in Italy, in over 350 centers, with more than 4,500 patients participating in the trials. One year after the acquisition of Celgene, these are the numbers of the pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb, illustrated today during a virtual press conference.
“In oncology and hematology – says Emma Charles, general manager Bristol Myers Squibb Italy – we have been pioneers in the discovery of a class of molecules that leverages the potential of the immune system to treat cancer and we have revolutionized the treatment of multiple myeloma”.
These advances in the field of immuno-oncology “were made possible thanks to scientific rigor and investments in biotechnology research. The commitment now is to fulfill the promise of precision medicine by providing the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right time. “. Bristol Myers Squibb introduced, in 2013, the first immunoncological molecule for the treatment of melanoma, ipilimumab, in Italy.
“With more than 250,000 patients treated worldwide with our immuno-oncological therapies – explains Cosimo Paga, executive country medical director, Bristol Myers Squibb Italy – Bristol Myers Squibb has changed the expectation and quality of life in many oncological pathologies. Today we are committed to making available next-generation treatment options in hematology, such as CAR-T for the treatment of blood cancers such as multiple myeloma and lymphomas. “
As confirmation of the attention paid to patients, Paga concludes, “we have activated compassionate programs thanks to which we have made our drugs available free of charge, during the negotiation period with the Italian Medicines Agency, making it possible to access therapies before their marketing”.
From stroke to myeloma, don’t forget prevention in a pandemic
Bms also supports patients with home delivery of drugs
For years alongside patients, to support them in the spread of prevention campaigns, and even closer during the months of the Covid pandemic, which must not make us forget the existence of other serious diseases. To take stock of the initiatives undertaken by Bristol Myers Squibb was today the virtual press conference, which saw clinicians and associations compared.
“During the first wave of Covid-19 – says Emma Charles, general manager Bristol Myers Squibb Italy – we donated personal protective equipment, masks and disinfectant gels to various hospitals in difficulty. To ensure therapeutic continuity, we have activated the project that includes home drug delivery for people with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple myeloma and chronic myeloid leukemia, who have difficulty withdrawing medication. “
However, the commitment of Bms in recent months has also been to continue to carry out prevention campaigns, despite the coronavirus emergency. Like “Mieloma Ti Sfido”, the campaign promoted by the Italian Association against Leukemia (Ail). This, explained Sergio Amadori, president of AIL, “is a very aggressive tumor and before, on average, people died within 3 or 4 years of diagnosis. But today we have drugs that have led to an average survival to 10 years and with a clearly marked quality of life. best”.
Not having to take a step back is also the prevention of stroke. “Almost 150,000 Italians are affected every year by this disease which is time dependent, that is, the sooner one intervenes, the more one has the possibility of avoiding permanent deaths and disabilities, explained Nicoletta Reale, president of the Association for the Fight against Cerebral Stroke (Alice Italy) – for this reason, people should not be afraid to come to the hospital if they have symptoms: there are dedicated and safe paths for them “.
Another campaign supported by Bms is about to land on social media, the “Adventures of Neo”, the dark comic created by the students of the Italian School of Comix to raise awareness among young people on prevention against melanoma. “In our country – recalled Paolo Ascierto, president of the Melanoma Foundation – it is the second most frequent cancer in men under 50 and the third in women in that age group”.