Novartis enters IMPRESS
One of the largest pharmaceutical companies enters the precision cancer study IMPRESS in Norway.
Novartis is happy to join IMPRESS-Norway. Tarje Bergdahl, Nordic Medical Director Oncology, and Gry Lønne Eriksson, Medical Advisor Hematology and Oncology, have both been involved in the process of joining the largest cancer study in Norway. Photo: Novartis
Access to a broad portfolio of different medicines that can match molecular findings in a patient is important to succeed with the precision medicine approach of IMPRESS, Norway's largest cancer study.
“We are very happy that Novartis is now contributing several of their medicines in the IMPRESS-Norway study. This means that Norwegian cancer patients can have more treatment opportunities in the study and that we can treat more patients based on molecular diagnostics. Novartis has many very interesting medicines. We count on more companies joining the study with their medicines soon,” said Åslaug Helland, National coordinator for IMPRESS-Norway and Head of Research at Oslo University Hospital.
Six new medicines
Novartis is happy to support the IMPRESS study with six of its cancer medicines to treat up to one hundred patients. The first two Novartis medicines are ready for use this summer and the last four will probably be introduced during the autumn.
A broad collaboration with pharma partners for IMPRESS is important, both to Norwegian cancer patients who have run out of other treatment options, and to build stronger collaborations between public and private actors in the healthcare sector.
“Novartis is proud to contribute to the solutions of the challenges we are facing in the health ecosystem, including the implementation of personalized medicine. Through IMPRESS-Norway and the public-private collaboration in CONNECT, we wish to contribute to a culture for innovative and trusting partnerships with the health service – partnerships that are greater than the capacity and resources of each side alone. We are stronger together,” said Tarje Bergdahl, Nordic Medical Director Oncology Novartis.
Testing off-label treatments
IMPRESS-Norway is a national clinical study in precision cancer medicine, which is testing off-label treatments on cancer patients based on molecular changes in the patient’s tumour. Patients with advanced cancer disease can receive molecular diagnostics through InPreD (Infrastructure for Precision Diagnostics) and are discussed in a national molecular tumour board to provide optimal treatment for the individual patient. Patients who are eligible for the treatments available in IMPRESS are then offered to participate in the clinical study.
All the Norwegian hospitals that are treating cancer patients are part of IMPRESS, in total 17 hospitals, including the university hospitals. Of these sites, 8 are currently open for the study, the rest are opening in August and September. As of 1 July, 40 patients were included in the molecular profiling with a 500 gene panel, 18 patients were discussed in the national molecular tumour board and 7 patients were included with different treatments in the IMPRESS study.
The consortium CONNECT is linked to the clinical study IMPRESS and the Infrastructure for Precision Diagnostics InPreD. CONNECT has, among other activities, facilitated dialogue meetings between industry representatives and the two mentioned national initiatives IMPRESS and InPreD.