Our multiple myeloma story: Collaboration drives progress

February 29, 2024     

March marks Myeloma Action Month (MAM), set every year by the International Myeloma Foundation, which provides a moment to reflect and come together across the myeloma community to raise awareness of this disease and innovative treatments needed for patients.

The story of our commitment in multiple myeloma begins in the advances achieved for patients over the last 15 to 20 years, and the next chapter is being written right now. At BMS, we have a bold promise for tomorrow—to transform the multiple myeloma treatment paradigm by improving outcomes for every patient. At the center of this is collaboration: with the patients we listen to, colleagues we partner with and healthcare community whose insights shape our focus to extend survival, reduce treatment burden and provide the possibility of cure.

Our relationships with the healthcare community, powered by patient voices at every turn, serve as the true core of our myeloma story. Close and longstanding partnerships with patients and their advocacy groups like IMF, MMRF, HealthTree Foundation, IMS and Global Myeloma Action Network enable dialogue, assist in furthering critical research, and provide critical resources to patients. For example, HealthTree Foundation has a coaching network and summit where they gather 200 people each year to provide education and resources. The IMF’s GMAN Group, Global Myeloma Action Network, provides opportunities for socialization, interaction, education, survivorship support and caregiver resources.

These groups also help us keep an important fact at the center of our work: despite recent advances, multiple myeloma remains a relentless disease marked by relapses, a heavy treatment burden, poor quality of life and reduced life expectancy. Further, our signature U.S. program, Standing in the Gaap, works to close the gaps in diagnosis, care & survival for African American patients with myeloma, a patient population particularly affected by the disease.

In addition to patient support, we are collaborating to drive scientific innovation across our diversified pipeline and portfolio. We have sponsored initiatives such as the Myeloma Genome Project and PrisMM through which we are able to classify myeloma by different molecular characteristics that allow us to research novel targets and tailor treatments to high-risk patient segments. We are working with our partners to gather real world evidence through large registries such as CONNECT MM and PREAMBLE, with more than 5,000 enrolled patients, to evaluate treatment patterns and identify correlations between patient and disease characteristics and outcomes. Importantly, our diverse pipeline is also made stronger through global academic and industry collaborations that bring in external perspectives.

We continue to draw on these critical collaborations, along with our knowledge of immunoscience, protein degradation and cellular therapy, as we innovate across targets and modalities. We are encouraged by the promise of our pipeline, which includes next-generation CAR T and other adoptive cellular therapies, immune cell engagers and novel oral CELMoD™ agents.

The way we approach multiple myeloma as a cross-functional, disease-focused team is a perfect example of how openness and commitment to working together can pave the way for truly great work. As we work seamlessly across teams, focus areas, functions, and with our external partners in the community, our joint efforts allow us to elevate the work we are doing across multiple myeloma and transform the treatment paradigm by improving outcomes for every patient.

Author: Rod Humerickhouse, PhD
Vice President, Global Program Lead, Multiple Myeloma 

Author: Rosanna Ricafort, MD
Vice President, Sr. Global Program Lead Late Development

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Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. As global citizens, we work sustainably and responsibly to create a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.