Lugano, Switzerland, May 11, 2022 – Helsinn Group (“Helsinn”), a fully integrated, global biopharma company with a diversified pipeline of innovative oncology assets, is pleased to be silver sponsor and participate in the upcoming AMMF (The Alan Morement Memorial Fund) conference, taking place from 11-13 May at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted Airport, Essex, UK. Helsinn will be present with a tabletop exhibit and will also contribute to the scientific exchange through the presentation of two scientific posters.
AMMF’s 2022 cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) conference will mark 20 years since the inception of AMMF UK Cholangiocarcinoma Charity. Raising awareness of CCA, providing information to patients and caregivers, encouraging and supporting specialized research are part of AMMF’s mission, including advocating for cholangiocarcinoma patients in national and international fora.
The first poster is entitled “Natural history of patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma and FGFR2 gene fusions/rearrangements”. The primary objective of this retrospective, observational study was to compare real-world overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced CCA who either had fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2 fusions/rearrangements) or did not (wild type). Among the 571 patients, 75 were identified as CCA with FGFR2 fusion/rearrangements and only 3 patients received personalized treatment (commercial FGFR inhibitor) targeted against their FGFR2 fusions/rearrangements. The interpretation of the analysis of the data showed that, when treated with the current available therapies, patients with FGFR2 fusions/rearrangements have no significant improvement in the overall survival vs. those without. This underlines the need for accelerating innovation in oncology clinical drug development, not only to enable more effective and efficient development of new cancer therapies, but also to give patients – including those with rare forms of cancer – access to new therapies much sooner.
The second poster entitled “Broadening the therapeutic horizon of cholangiocarcinoma through molecular-targeted treatments/precision medicine”, presents the results of a literature-based analysis evaluating the latest information on biomarker testing and molecular targeted treatment options in patients with CCA. Key findings of this analysis indicate the importance of biomarker testing at diagnosis and the efforts made in developing new personalized therapies aimed at improving outcomes in patients affected by CCA.
At Helsinn we’ve made it our mission to improve the everyday lives of cancer patients, focusing on developing therapies to treat cancers with high unmet needs through our Fully Integrated Targeted Therapy (FITT) strategy.
Giorgio Calderari, Helsinn Group CEO commented: “Helsinn, in line with our FITT strategy, is committed to raising awareness of the cholangiocarcinoma diagnosis and treatment landscape and by doing so aims at closing the medical gap in rare oncology diseases.”
Angela Lamarca, Medical Oncologist (MD, PhD, MSc) commented: “Screening for genetic alterations at diagnosis is critical for optimizing personalized effective treatment of patients. Targeted therapies have shown to impact on outcome of patients with CCA and should therefore be considered.”
Helsinn is a fully integrated, global biopharma company headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland. It is focused on improving the lives of cancer patients all over the world with a leading position in cancer supportive care and an innovative pipeline of cancer therapeutics.
Helsinn is a third-generation family-owned company, that since 1976 has been focused on improving the lives of patients, guided by core values of respect, integrity and quality. It operates a unique licensing business model with integrated drug development and manufacturing capabilities. Helsinn has a commercial presence in 190 countries either directly, with operating subsidiaries in the U.S. and China, or via its network of long-standing trusted partners. Helsinn also has a fully integrated supply chain and product development through its subsidiary in Ireland, Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Helsinn plays an active and central role in promoting social transformation in favor of people and the environment. Corporate social responsibility is at the heart of everything we do, which is reinforced in the company’s strategic plan by a commitment to sustainable growth.
To learn more about Helsinn please visit www.helsinn.com
CCA represents an aggressive group of malignancies that form in the bile ducts. Although rare in most countries (with a worldwide estimated incidence of <6 per 100,000 people), the incidence of this malignancy is increasing worldwide. Because the disease is usually asymptomatic at early-stages, diagnosis may be delayed until advanced stages, when CCA typically presents as locally advanced or metastatic disease. Despite continuing advances in treatments, the prognosis for this disease remains poor, with a 5-year survival rate of <20%. FGFR2 genetic alterations are present in approximately 10-16%1,2 of CCA patients and represent potential targets for treatments.3,4
1 Farshidfar, F. , Zheng, S. , Gingras, M et al. Integrative Genomic Analysis of Cholangiocarcinoma Identifies Distinct IDH-Mutant Molecular Profiles. Cell Rep 2017 Mar 4;18(11):2780-2794. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.02.033
2 Kongpetch, S., Jusakul, A., Quan Lim, J. et al. Lack of Targetable FGFR2 Fusions in Endemic Fluke-Associated Cholangiocarcinoma. CO Glob Oncol 2020 Apr;6:628-638.doi: 10.1200/GO.20.00030
3Banales, J., Cardinale, V., Carpino, G. et al. Cholangiocarcinoma: current knowledge and future perspectives consensus statement from the European Network for the Study of Cholangiocarcinoma (ENS-CCA). Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 13, 261–280 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrgastro.2016.51
4Banales, J.M., Marin, J.J.G., Lamarca, A. et al. Cholangiocarcinoma 2020: the next horizon in mechanisms and management. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 17, 557–588 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-020-0310-z