Amgen has joined leading community oncology networks to launch the Amgen Community Oncology Research Collaborators (ACORC), a new initiative to enhance access by community centers to innovative oncology research.
Amgen notes in its press release that fewer than one in 20 adult cancer patients in the U.S. have participated in a clinical trial. This collaboration, they believe, will offer Amgen clinical research options to community centers around the U.S. reaching up to 900,000 new patients annually with investigational medicines.
Who are the Players?
US Oncology Research and Translational Research In Oncology-US, Inc. (TRIO-US), and its joint work with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Clinical Research Unit, have signed on as the first ACORC participants, with plans to add additional networks in 2019.
What is the Offering?
The collaboration will provide community oncologists the opportunity to have their patients participate in clinical trials of investigational agents from Amgen’s pipeline—including:
- Bispecific T cell engager (BITE)
- Antibody Constructs
- Novel small molecules
- Moreover, the collaboration will offer the opportunity to generate through real-world evidence studies on currently available oncology products.
About US Oncology Network
Michael Seiden, MD, PhD, President of the US Oncology Network writes, “US Oncology Research allows community-based oncologists to participate in clinical research at more than 155 locations across the country.” He continued, “This collaboration will help include more patients in research designed to evaluate innovative investigational molecules. In turn we look forward to sharing insights from these trials to help the development of new oncology medicines.”
Darry Sleep, MD, senior vice president of Global Medical and chief medical officer at Amgen reports, “About 80% of cancer patients across the U.S. are treated outside of an academic institute by a community oncologist making it critical to expand clinical trials to include patients in a community setting.”
UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center also is now a participant. John Glaspy, MD, MPH, TRIO director reports “We’re excited to sign on as an ACORC participant to provide our physicians access to studies of new and potentially transformative investigational targets.” He continued, “With roots in Southern California, we look forward to working with our neighbors at Amgen now and into the future as we look to provide the best options to people living with cancer.”
Clinical Research as a Care Option
This is a brilliant move by Amgen. By embarking on building a network of community alliances amongst oncology providers, they will seek to support populations that in many cases do not receive optimal care. By aligning with these prominent community research sites, they (Amgen) will get naturally closer to the patients. Clinical research as a care option is a growing trend and this move by Amgen exemplifies a smart and savvy move. For example, we know that participation rates among African Americans and Latinos is even lower. This community model approach could include deeper community ties, community care coordination and concierge support for those in desperate need of treatment.