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Leader Perspectives

Reflecting on Our Progress in Blood Cancer

Abizer Gaslightwala

At Jazz, we are committed to addressing the needs of patients living with difficult to treat blood diseases and cancers who have limited treatment options. As we honor the many individuals around the world impacted by blood cancers during Blood Cancer Awareness Month, I find myself reflecting on and feeling deep pride in the commitment of my colleagues at Jazz. We believe all people, particularly those with difficult, complex conditions, deserve to get the best chances to defeat their cancer and live a happy and healthy life—and that conviction shapes every decision we make.

This focus is particularly important in the area of blood cancer and in particular, children, where an interruption in treatment can have a large impact on that best chance to defeat cancer. For example, data from a recent Children’s Oncology Group (COG) retrospective analysis found that in high-risk patients with certain types of leukemias, those who did not receive a full course of a treatment that was deemed foundational and essential for their care had significantly lower survival outcomes.1

When we noticed that certain leukemia and lymphoma patients were affected by a drug shortage, we took action to ensure that these children and adults could continue receiving treatment without obstacles to their care. By entering a unique partnership with a childhood cancer research group, we were able to accelerate significant efforts and investments to work together to develop a new medication as an alternative to a treatment that had faced recurring supply issues over recent years. These supply issues created an urgent need for patients to have reliable access to a new treatment option as part of their treatment plan, without interruption and with guaranteed supply, to give each patient that best chance of survival.

Through our innovative collaboration model and working together, we brought a new treatment to approval for use only 18 months from after the beginning of a pivotal clinical study. As a result, this unique collaboration is helping many rare blood cancer patients receive the medication they need. I’m tremendously proud of the team’s commitment and for recognizing that it was our responsibility to identify a solution to address the needs of these current and future patients. By thinking outside of the traditional box in how we bring cancer medicines forward for approval, we demonstrated that through partnership, commitment and focus, we together – both inside and outside of Jazz – can quickly bring critical medicines to those that need them the most.
It’s an honor to work among such innovative people who worked tirelessly to find solutions in the face of challenge. I’m proud to work with such a passionate team who’s committed to continuing to build on our legacy in Oncology and most importantly, centering their work on patients and how we can help them every day.


  1. Gupta S, Wang C, Raetz EA, et al. Impact of Asparaginase Discontinuation on Outcome in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Report From the Children’s Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol. 2020;38(17):1897-1905. doi:10.1200/JCO.19.03024