WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) today announced they have entered into a collaboration agreement to help increase local access to next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based testing for lung and breast cancer patients in more than 30 countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia where advanced genomic testing has previously been limited or unavailable. Access to local NGS testing can help to provide faster analysis of associated genes, empowering healthcare providers to select the right therapy for that individual patient.1
Cancer is a leading cause of death globally, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or around one in six deaths. Breast and lung cancer are the leading types of cancer diagnosed and are responsible for almost 4.5 million deaths worldwide.2 By 2040, the global burden for cancer is expected to grow to 27.5 million new cancer cases and 16.3 million cancer deaths.3 Under the agreement, Thermo Fisher will identify local labs that will be using the company's NGS technology and ensure they have the necessary infrastructure, trained staff, and quality control measures to meet industry standards for NGS testing services for breast and lung cancer. Pfizer will explore ways to enable affordable patient access for NGS testing for these types of cancer and work to raise healthcare provider awareness regarding the benefits of advanced testing. The two companies will continue to evaluate opportunities to expand geographically and to expand testing for other types of cancer.
“Anyone facing a cancer diagnosis should have access to cutting-edge testing that can match them with an appropriate, optimized treatment plan and better inform their care. Today, we aim to bring rapid NGS testing to an increased number of decentralized labs, closer to where patients are treated,” said Gianluca Pettiti, executive vice president at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We are moving one step closer to delivering precision insights to underserved patients so they can receive a more tailored path for their care no matter where they are in the world.”
“The more we understand the complex science behind cancer, the better we can treat it. Our experience has taught us that cancer cannot always be treated with a broad brush and often requires an individualized approach based on precise disease characteristics,” said Nick Lagunowich, Pfizer Global President of Emerging Markets. “In many parts of the world, access to next-generation sequencing may be limited or unaffordable for cancer patients. This program aims to improve their treatment journey and help increase their chances for improved outcomes.”
Single gene testing has historically been used to match patients with appropriate targeted therapies. However, this can be a time intensive process if sequential tests are needed and there may not be enough tissue to run every test – which may require additional biopsy procedures. As more targeted therapies are available that can be matched through a broader set of genomic markers, next-generation sequencing is quickly replacing sequential, single biomarker tests. By screening a single tumor tissue or blood sample for multiple biomarkers simultaneously, NGS can provide clinical teams with rapid and actionable genomic insights to help inform precision oncology treatment decisions for eligible patients.4
A retrospective observational real-world data study looked at newly diagnosed stage IV non-small cell lung cancer patients, and found outcomes such as apparent survival and time to next treatment were significantly compromised if actionable mutations were identified after systemic treatment was initiated (e.g. chemotherapy and immunotherapy). However, when treatment was initiated based on molecular results, patients experienced better outcomes compared to patients who were treated prior to receiving molecular results, supporting the need for rapid molecular testing to inform better treatment decisions.5
About Pfizer Inc.: Breakthroughs that Change Patients’ Lives
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.Pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.Pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.
About Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue over $40 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, increasing productivity in their laboratories, improving patient health through diagnostics or the development and manufacture of life-changing therapies, we are here to support them. Our global team delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, Patheon and PPD. For more information, please visit www.thermofisher.com.
The information contained in this release is as of May 9, 2023. Pfizer and Thermo Fisher Scientific assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about a collaboration agreement between Pfizer and Thermo Fisher Scientific to help increase local access to next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based testing for lung and breast cancer patients in more than 30 countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia where advanced genomic testing has previously been limited or unavailable, including its potential benefits, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development; whether the collaboration between Pfizer and Thermo Fisher Scientific will be successful; uncertainties regarding the impact of COVID-19; and competitive developments.
A further description of risks and uncertainties that affect the businesses of Pfizer and Thermo Fisher Scientific that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements can be found in Pfizer’s and Thermo Fisher Scientific’s respective Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and in their respective subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results” (in the case of Pfizer) and “Risk Factors” and “Forward-looking Statements” (in the case of Thermo Fisher Scientific) as well as in their respective subsequent reports on Form 8-K. You can access Pfizer’s or Thermo Fisher Scientific’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) through the SEC website at www.sec.gov or their respective filings through Pfizer’s (www.pfizer.com) or Thermo Fisher Scientific’s (www.thermofisher.com) websites, respectively.
1 Véronique Hofman, et al. (2022) JTO 2022: 100457
2 Cancer (who.int)
3 Global Cancer Facts & Figures | American Cancer Society
4 Lemmon, CA et al. (2023) JCO Precision Oncology 2023 :7
5 Smith RE et al. (2022) J Clin Oncol. 40(16_suppl):1530