New Jersey’s life science and medical technology firms continue to make significant inroads in the fight against cancer.
In fact, the state ranks second nationally in the number (357) of cancer drugs in development, according to Dean Paranicas, president of the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ). And while public attention has been focused on COVID-19 and the rapid response of the state’s pharmaceutical and biotech firms in this area, “our companies have not lessened their commitment to finding new cures and therapies to fight all types of cancer” Paranicas says.
“To date in 2020, The US Food & Drug Administration reports more than 10 new novel oncology drug approvals, with half coming from companies with a footprint in New Jersey,” says Debbie Hart, president and CEO of BioNJ. “The medical innovation has led to lower death rates from cancer in many cases, making cancer a chronic condition to be managed, instead of a death sentence.”
Harts says that the state’s vibrant life sciences ecosystem has transformed New Jersey into a hub for cell and gene therapy, especially when it comes to oncology. “The first such therapy was brought to market by Novartis in East Hanover, and the legacy continues,” according to Hart, who adds that the pipeline of innovative drugs to fight cancer is “robust.”
Paranicas says that continuing cutting-edge research is addressing a broad range of cancer types, including breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, kidney cancer, blood, prostate and colorectal cancers and hematology, acute myeloid leukemia, adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, glioblastoma and non-small cell lung cancer.
The research is tremendous, but Hart emphasis that “patients can’t wait” because “1.8 million new cancer cases are expected in the US in 2020.”
She says that BioNJ is inspired and privileged to work with so many innovative companies in the state that are making remarkable progress in the fight against cancer.
Paranicas comments that the future of cancer research is promising as it is driven by innovative companies that are dedicated to one fundamental goal – “extending and improving the overall quality of a patient’s life.”
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