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Boehringer to help promote genetic biomarker testing

Will support Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
Lung cancer logo

Boehringer Ingelheim is to sponsor the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation's (BJALCF) efforts to promote genetic biomarker testing in the US.

The German pharma company will work for a year with the patient-founded philanthropy to raise awareness of how some lung cancer patients can have a genetic mutation that means they are better suited for a certain type of treatment.

This includes Boehringer's Gilotrif/Giotrif (afatinib), which is approved in the US and EU to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have a mutation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

This group accounts for 10-15 per cent of all patients with NSCLC, which is the most common form of lung cancer, accounting for about 85 per cent of cases. Other drugs developed to target EGFR patients include Roche's Tarceva (erlotinib).

Bonnie Addario, founder of the BJALCF and a stage lung cancer survivor, commented on the agreement with Boehringer.

"This sponsorship is important because of how critical genetic biomarker testing is for an accurate diagnosis and for helping to match each patient with the most appropriate therapy as early as possible," she said.

"This testing sets the stage for a new personalised standard of care with the goal of improving outcomes for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer."

The year-long sponsorship coincides with the BJALCF's decision to honour Boehringer for its contributions to the lung cancer community through the 'Let's Test' campaign, designed to drive awareness of biomarker testing in people with NSCLC.

Kevin Lokay, vice president and business unit head, oncology, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, said that his company was honoured to be supported the foundation in promoting testing.

“It's about getting a more detailed diagnosis as early as possible to help physicians more immediately match each patient with the most appropriate course of treatment,” he added.

According to Boehringer, lung cancer leads to more deaths than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, and is responsible for 27 per cent of all cancer deaths.

Article by
Tara Craig

12th November 2013

From: Sales

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