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Leader Perspectives

A Commitment to Advancing Science for Biliary Tract Cancer Patients

Rob Iannone, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research and Development

Enabling people to live longer, healthier lives inspires us to dig deeper and follow new research threads so we can further the science behind innovative therapies for people living with difficult-to-treat cancers. As we advance research and our R&D capabilities in oncology, we continue to focus on those for whom we can have the greatest impact, and how we can develop novel medicines with the potential to transform lives. HER2-expressing cancers are just one area where we have reinforced our commitment to science, by helping address the unmet needs within this patient community.

HER2-positive cancers tend to grow and spread faster than cancers that are HER2-negative, which impacts overall prognosis.i This, in turn, can influence quality of life and lead to a higher likelihood of death in those affected. HER2 overexpression is common in solid tumors, in particular biliary tract cancer (BTC), of which approximately 17% present HER2-positivity.ii,iii,iv Thus, BTC patients and their families face many hurdles and are urgently in need of new and improved treatment options. HER2-targeted treatments have the potential to transform patient care in advanced BTCiv given the rate of HER2 expression in these cancers. In addition to advancing a new treatment option for HER2-positive BTC, we’re also focused on supporting patients beyond research & development.

Engaging with the Oncology Community at Medical Conferences

Medical conferences are one avenue through which we can support and represent our patient communities. These conferences are opportunities to convene with the broader oncology community to hear about the latest advancements in the industry, share new research from our expanding pipeline, and discuss actionable ways to support patients and caregivers. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2024 Annual Meeting kicks off this weekend, and at this year’s meeting we are excited to present new data including updated trial results showing the potential of our HER2-targeted bispecific antibody in patients with HER2-positive BTC. Our investigational bispecific antibody continues to demonstrate applicability for HER2-expressing cancers, and we look forward to seeing its potential in the BTC community and beyond.

Enhancing Patient Support Through Advocacy Partnerships

Our commitment to patients extends far beyond treatment. By actively listening to the experiences of patients and caregivers, we gain invaluable insights that guide our efforts in crafting and delivering new solutions. Advocacy organizations, at their core, amplify the voices of the communities they represent, which is why collaborating with them is crucial to meeting patients where they are and addressing their needs. One way we are taking action is through advocacy partnerships, including recent efforts attending the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation’s 11th Annual Meeting in April. Opportunities like these provide us with the chance to connect directly with the community and gain insights into where we can enhance our supportive efforts.

At this year’s CCF conference we heard from patients and caregivers firsthand about their journeys with biliary tract cancer, as well as insights into the current challenges they face and ways we can support them. The conference was also a valuable opportunity to connect with renowned experts in the scientific and medical community to learn about the latest advances in cholangiocarcinoma research, clinical advancements, and treatment options.

The most valuable sources of information on how to support the BTC community are the people living with these cancers, their loved ones, and their physicians. We are committed to continuing to listen to patients, physicians, caregivers, and members of the oncology community at large to improve treatment outcomes and provide solutions that fit their care needs.

Read more about Jazz’s presence at ASCO 2024 in our press release or follow along on Jazz’s X, Facebook, and LinkedIn channels.

References

iIqbal N, et al. Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) in Cancers: Overexpression and Therapeutic Implications. Mol Biol Int. 2014;2014:852748.    
iiValle JW, et al. New Horizons for Precision Medicine in Biliary Tract Cancers. Cancer Discov. 2017 Sep;7(9):943-962. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-0245. Epub 2017 Aug 17. PMID: 28818953; PMCID: PMC5586506.    
iiiGaldy et al. HER2/HER3 pathway in biliary tract malignancies; systematic review and meta-analysis: a potential therapeutic target? Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2016;36(1):141–157.    
ivJeong H, et al. Feasibility of HER2-Targeted Therapy in Advanced Biliary Tract Cancer: A Prospective Pilot Study of Trastuzumab Biosimilar in Combination with Gemcitabine Plus Cisplatin. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jan 6;13(2):161.