Statement from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Regarding the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) Recommendation for Novartis’ Panobinostat for Multiple Myeloma

Norwalk, CT – November 6, 2014

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today issued the following statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) about the addition of panobinostat to a standard treatment combination for patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy.

“Multiple myeloma is an extremely complex disease. The biology of myeloma changes significantly over the course of a patient’s life, requiring a new treatment approach each time the disease recurs. The need for therapies with new mechanisms to treat patients whose myeloma has returned is truly urgent.”

“Panobinostat is the first in a new class of drugs called Histone Deactylase Inhibitors, or HDAC inhibitors, to be considered by FDA for a primary indication in multiple myeloma. We believe it would provide physicians with a key tool to attack the disease in a new way, and offer new hope to patients whose cancer has returned after at least one course of treatment.”

“Access to a treatment like panobinostat can make a significant difference, slowing progression of the disease and perhaps offering an additional therapy option to patients in greatest need,” said Walter Capone, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multiple Myeloma Foundation. “We encourage the FDA and Novartis to work together to identify a path forward and stand ready to support their efforts.”

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Novartis’ Panobinostat
MMRF is committed to accelerating the development and availability of new treatment options such as panobinostat for patients with multiple myeloma. The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), the research arm of the MMRF, has worked closely with the investigators on the development of this therapy, and is currently conducting clinical trials to evaluate panobinostat as combination therapy in multiple settings.

About Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 24,050 adults (13,500 men and 10,550 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2014 and an estimated 11,090 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 43%, versus 28% in 1998.

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised $275 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. For more information about the MMRF, please visit: