Krebsallianz and AqVida join forces to bring hope to cancer sufferers
Press Release | AqVida GmbH
DECEMBER 05, 2014
Hamburg, Germany: – The not-for-profit organization Krebsallianz has been able to bring high-quality care to cancer patients in Europe’s poorest country, Moldova, thanks to drug donations from oncology specialist, AqVida.
Krebsallianz has been able to make free chemotherapy treatments available to Moldovan people with lung, breast, pancreatic and other cancers, using vials of the highly effective drug paclitaxel, provided pro bono by AqVida.
The joint effort is the result of a chance conference meeting in 2012 between AqVida Commercial Director Jürgen Lehmberg and Dr. Thomas Högn, responsible for strategic alliances at Krebsallianz. Their conversation led to AqVida becoming an active supporter of the charity.
Recently, the Hamburg-based laboratory was able to make 2,000 vials of paclitaxel available to Krebsallianz for administration to cancer sufferers in underdeveloped regions who would not otherwise be able to access treatment.
“During a recent management meeting, I heard that we had a surplus of paclitaxel,” said Mr. Lehmberg.
“I suggested that Krebsallianz would be able to use these drugs immediately and our CEO, Mr. Wolfgang Heinze, immediately agreed to donate this product,” he added.
Paclitaxel is a mitotic inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy that is approved in North America and Europe for ovarian, breast and lung, bladder, prostate, melanoma, esophageal, and other types of solid tumors as well as Kaposi’s sarcoma. It is also recommended for non-small cell lung cancer in patients unsuitable for curative treatment, and in first-line and second-line treatment of ovarian cancer.
“When we see the testimonials from people in Moldova whose lives have been transformed by Krebsallianz, we can see that we made the right decision,” said Mr. Lehmberg.
“We would urge all our colleagues in the oncology sector to support the work of this wonderful organization in any ways they can,” he added.
A former Soviet Army truck, now fitted out as a mobile clinic travel round isolated villages of Northern Moldava and assists those in need of medical attention. One of those who used the clinic when it stopped in Soroca was Alexandro Botnari, a 42-year-old farm laborer suffering from lung cancer.
After getting a check up in the mobile clinic, he was referred to the hospital in the Moldovan capital Chisinau, for chemotherapy.
After three chemotherapy sessions, Alexandro was discharged but the pain in his lungs soon returned.
The father of two knew that with his small earnings he would not be able to afford much more treatment but soon after he resumed chemotherapy, the hospital informed him that he would be receiving paclitaxel from Germany, free of charge.
After one round of chemotherapy with paclitaxel, Alexandro’s health has greatly improved.
“It’s fantastic, I no longer need to take painkillers,” said Alexandro.
“In comparison to the other treatments, I am more energetic. I used to bring my wife and children with me to make the journey to the hospital as I was too weak to do it alone, now I am fit enough to leave them at home,” he added.
Another patient who has benefited from the donated drug is Chisinau carpet factory worker Anna Croitorv, 53, who has suffered from breast cancer for almost a decade.
Formerly in remission after a partial mastectomy, Anna’s pain returned in 2012 and she learned that the cancer had spread to her right breast and lymph nodes. The doctors mixed her up a new cocktail of chemotherapies, increasing the dosage and the effects of this strong cocktail took its toll on Anna. Her salary did not allow her to afford any other better quality medicines, so she continued with the treatment. By the end of 2013 she was unable to walk or even to lie down.
This terrible condition seven months before her doctors told her she could receive free Paclitaxel, through Krebsallianz. After the first treatment of paclitaxel, Anna felt an immediate improvement and after the second session was able to walk and lie down. After the third course of Paclitaxel she said she felt ‘reborn’.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support Krebsallianz and its donors have given me. We are all so grateful for what you have done for us,” said Anna.
Constantin Țurcan was enjoying a successful life as a detergent importer until one day in 2012 when he was driving his car and felt a sensation ‘like I had a mouse crawling around in my stomach’ – the first sign of stomach cancer. .
Contantin’s doctor performed an endoscopy and advised him to undergo surgery immediately. When he awoke from the operation, he learned that his whole stomach had been removed.
The doctors were unable to give Constantin, 56, any further prognosis and advised him to go to Israel for a better, more detailed examination. It took the combined resources of Constantin, his wife, Natasha and two daughters to raise enough to pay money for the trip.
The doctors in Israel were able to confirm that the cancer was still in his body and prescribed him a chemotherapy cocktail of oxiplatin and epirubicin. He underwent six courses of chemotherapies and his test results showed no real difference by which time the family’s money had run out.
This was when doctors delivered some good news, that Constantin was now able to receive paclitaxel for free.
Constantin’s most recent test results show a decrease in cancer cells in his body and he is confident that the paclitaxel will continue to slow the disease even more. Constantin used to dream of travelling to Paris, yet his only dream now is to obtain the correct, most effective and best quality medicines.
“This disease – this cancer – it’s so difficult to shake off,” says Constantin and then, turning to the translator, asks, “How do you say ‘thank you’ in German?”
Then he raises his head, looks up and with his eyes wide open says “Danke, Danke.”
Notes for Editors:
Krebsallianz is an independent registered German charity in full compliance with German laws and regulations. It is headquartered in Berlin.
The not-for-profit organization acts as a conduit for drugs donated from pharmaceutical organisations to projects in the developing world. Recently, Krebsallianz has undertaken anti-cancer projects in Ghana, Mali, the Philippines, Moldova, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
Incorporated in 2005, Krebsallianz is a member of the umbrella organisation UICC, founded in 1933, that unites 400 member organisations from 120 countries in their fight against cancer diseases.
The goal of UICC, which collaborates closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO), is the elimination of cancer through scientific research and prevention.
Krebsallianz CEO Robert Landry says UCC membership enables Krebsallianz to share knowledge more effectively with other organisations in fighting cancer worldwide.
AqVida GmbH is a German pharmaceutical company specializing in the development, registration and licensing of finished dosage forms mainly in the oncology sector. It has developed an interesting portfolio of medicines for treating the most common types of cancer.
AqVida’s expertise in the development, registration and supply of generic oncology products and has made the company a leading partner in the pharmaceutical industry. The Hamburg-based company also has offices in Oberhaching, Bavaria and in Hangzhou, China.
AqVida works alongside some of the major companies in the market of oncology products. Together with its partners AqVida has achieved substantial development and growth with its oncology portfolio.
As a pharmaceutical company AqVida fulfills all client requirements from API sourcing (qualification) up to EU market release for the finished product. Teams of experts in development, regulatory affairs, patent issues and laboratory work bring skills and knowledge together to achieve optimum results for customers.
Products are sold under the AqVida brand or those of its partners’ in the EU and other markets.
AqVida complies with all German and EU legal requirements for the pharmaceutical industry and is GMP certified by the German Health Authorities. As a European organisation, AqVida has the knowledge and resources to provide regulatory support to meet the requirements of the complex and highly regulated EU market.
Jürgen Lehmberg, Commercial Director, AqVida GmbH
Wolfgang Heinze, CEO, AqVida GmbH
Tel: +49 40 380 37190
For Krebsallianz – Mrs. Christina Schuierer
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