ThermoFisher Scientific & Pfizer Collaborate to Expand Localized Access to Next Generation Sequencing-Based Testing for Cancer Patients in International Markets

Pfizer and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. recently disclosed that they have entered into a partnership arrangement to assist with improving local access to next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based testing for lung and breast cancer patients in over 30 nations across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia where advanced genomic testing has previously been restricted or unavailable. In order to enable healthcare professionals to choose the best treatment for each patient, access to local NGS testing can facilitate faster study of genes related to disease.


Article Summary


Nearly 10 million deaths, or roughly one in every six deaths, was a result of cancer in 2020, making it the top cause of death worldwide. The most common cancers identified are lung and breast cancers, which cause almost 4.5 million deaths worldwide. Recent studies have predicted that there will be 27.5 million new instances of cancer and 16.3 million cancer-related deaths worldwide by 2040.  These alarming statistics are the reason for the partnership between the industry giants.

According to the terms of the agreement, Thermo Fisher will determine which regional labs will use its NGS technology and make sure they have the facilities, personnel, and quality control procedures required to fulfill industry requirements for NGS testing services for breast and lung cancer.  Pfizer will look into ways to make NGS testing for these kinds of cancer accessible to patients at reasonable costs and strive to increase awareness among healthcare professionals of the advantages of advanced testing. The two firms will continue searching for ways to broaden their geographic reach and provide testing for additional cancer kinds.  

“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.” 

In the past, single gene testing has been used to match patients with the best focused treatments. However, if a series of tests is required, it can take a long time because there might not be enough tissue to do each test, which might necessitate additional biopsy procedures. Next-generation sequencing is quickly replacing sequential, single-biomarker tests as more focused medicines become available that can be matched through a larger collection of genetic markers. NGS can quickly and effectively offer clinical teams with genetic insights to assist with decisions about precision oncology treatment for eligible patients by simultaneously assessing a single tumor tissue or blood sample for several biomarkers.

A retrospective observational real-world data study of patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer found that if actionable mutations were discovered after systemic treatments (such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy) had begun, outcomes like apparent survival and time to the next treatment were significantly compromised. However, when therapy was started based on molecular results, patients’ outcomes were better than when treatment was started without knowing the results of the molecular analysis. These findings support the necessity for quick molecular testing to help make better treatment decisions.


About Pfizer

Pfizer is a renowned global pharmaceutical company known for its contributions to healthcare and the development of innovative medications. With a long history dating back to 1849, Pfizer has made significant advancements in various therapeutic areas, including vaccines, biologics, oncology, and more. One of Pfizer’s notable achievements is the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with BioNTech. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, also known as Comirnaty or BNT162b2, has been authorized for emergency use and has played a crucial role in the global effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Pfizer has a diverse portfolio of biologic products, including Enbrel (etanercept), a widely used treatment for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Additionally, their biologics portfolio includes drugs like Ibrance (palbociclib) for certain types of breast cancer and Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin) for relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The company continues to invest in research and development, aiming to address unmet medical needs and improve patient outcomes. With a strong focus on innovation, Pfizer remains dedicated to advancing healthcare and making a positive impact on global health.


About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a prominent global leader in the field of scientific research and laboratory equipment and services. The company offers a wide range of products and solutions that cater to various scientific disciplines, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, healthcare, and more. Thermo Fisher Scientific provides an extensive portfolio of biotechnology products and services. They offer instruments, reagents, consumables, software, and services that support research and development in areas such as genomics, proteomics, cell biology, and drug discovery. The company is known for its innovative solutions in the life sciences field. Thermo Fisher Scientific has made significant contributions to biologics research and development, offering advanced technologies and platforms for gene expression analysis, protein analysis, cell culture, and molecular biology research. Additionally, Thermo Fisher Scientific plays a crucial role in supporting the biopharmaceutical industry by providing specialized tools and services for the manufacturing and quality control of biologics. They offer solutions for process development, purification, characterization, and analysis of biopharmaceutical products. Thermo Fisher Scientific’s dedication to advancing scientific research and facilitating the development of biologics has made them a trusted partner for many researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare institutions worldwide.

Source: Pfizer, May 9, 2023


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