At Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary, our imperative is to build a leading cancer therapeutics company like no other, working toward a unified goal that drives us forward ... to deliver breakthrough cancer treatments to patients with the urgency they deserve. By working in collaboration with patient advocacy groups, healthcare providers and business partners, we push the boundaries of science and cancer therapeutic development.
Onyx's beginning can be credited to taking significant risks on behalf of patients, which was made possible, in part, by NIH funding to develop our understanding of the cellular pathways that some of our therapies target.
Through public-private partnerships, both Onyx and Amgen are working to develop better approaches to addressing serious diseases. In the case of multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer, Onyx Pharmaceuticals has partnered with academia and patient advocacy organizations, such as the International Myeloma Foundation and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, to develop new diagnostic approaches to better assess the level of disease in patients with multiple myeloma, also known as minimal residual disease (MRD). Understanding the level of MRD will support continuing development of therapies that can completely eradicate all evidence of disease from the patient. In addition, by developing new tools to monitor MRD in myeloma patients, we will be able to incorporate this measurement as a predictor of clinical outcome.
Since 2012, Onyx has been focused on advancing the understanding of the health disparities associated with multiple myeloma and liver disease to drive appropriate and unencumbered patient access to the best possible treatments. Recognizing the racial and socioeconomic disparities in incidence rates and health outcomes for multiple myeloma and liver cancer patients, Onyx began investigating opportunities to advance health equity for patients living with these life-threatening diseases. Through education and engagement of key policy stakeholders about the scientific and social determinants contributing to the health disparities associated with HCC and multiple myeloma, our goal is to develop and disseminate tools necessary to improve access to care for traditionally underserved populations.
In 2013, Onyx and the D.C. Cancer Consortium sponsored a strategic policy roundtable to advance health equity under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and addressed strategies and models for engaging traditionally underserved populations living with cancer. In October 2014, Onyx will host its second annual roundtable focused on ACA's provisions aimed at reducing health disparities, efforts to increase minority enrollment into clinical trials, and improving access to high quality treatment.
At Amgen and Onyx, our shared mission is to serve patients. The ultimate way that we, as the collective innovation ecosystem - industry, government and nonprofits - can serve patients is through continued and increased funding of basic medical research, which, in turn, supports Research!America's mission of making medical research a national priority.
Research!America is one of the few organizations that advocates for biomedical innovation and supports continued investment in research, which is a core area of focus for Onyx. Research!America's efforts to empower the public to voice their opinions on biomedical research so that all participants in the research community can continue finding ways to meet the needs of patients also aligns with our goals for more engagement in the research process.
Pablo J. Cagnoni, M.D., is the president of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary.
To learn more, visit www.onyx.com.