Amgen and McKesson Launch Strategic Agreement to Advance Cancer Innovation in Communities

December 04, 2020

Enhanced agreement to transform cancer care, improve outcomes by accelerating development and access to life-changing medicines

IRVING, TX, and THOUSAND OAKS, CA, Dec. 4, 2020McKesson and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, have signed a strategic agreement to help improve cancer care in community oncology settings. Today, 1 in 5 cancer patients receives an Amgen medicine, while McKesson reaches 20% of U.S. cancer patients. This multi-year agreement bridges the power and reach of the two companies and will focus on reducing gaps in care by optimizing access to innovative precision medicine and immuno-oncology in the community setting.

Access to the latest innovations in cancer care is still very dependent on demographics, socioeconomic status, and where in the U.S. patients receive their care. Currently, the majority of new patients are first seen in the community setting1, making community oncology practices increasingly critical to improved patient care. Community oncology providers also typically treat a more diverse patient population, providing the greatest opportunity to impact cancer care across dimensions, including rural populations.

“Community oncology practices in the United States are the backbone of oncology care for the vast majority of patients. The COVID-19 pandemic further heightens the need to help strengthen that network as it has become imperative that people be treated closer to home,” said Darryl Sleep, M.D., senior vice president, Global Medical and chief medical officer, Amgen. “At Amgen, we believe that cancer patients and those who treat them deserve to have access to the latest innovations in care no matter where they live or practice. Together with McKesson, our ultimate goal is to help community oncologists and their teams have rapid access to the latest innovations and insights to provide the best care possible where patients need it most.”

Kirk Kaminsky, president of U.S. Pharmaceutical, McKesson, shared, “The combined commitment of our organizations to optimize patient outcomes will change the future of cancer care. We look forward to working with Amgen and oncology providers to navigate the inherent complexity in cancer and make novel insights actionable and accessible at the exact point of need.”

This partnership will be led by OntadaTM, McKesson’s new oncology technology and insights business. Ontada is focused on helping life sciences companies like Amgen improve patient outcomes for cancer care, from early clinical development to drug commercialization and post-launch activation of insights, as well as empowering oncology providers at the point of need to deliver more-informed, more-effective, more-efficient care to their patients. Through real-world data gathered with Ontada’s proprietary technology for community oncology practices, such as those that are part of The US Oncology Network, Ontada has the real-world knowledge to help push cancer care forward.

“I have been an oncologist for 30 years, and we have never seen so much innovation, yet so many challenges, as we do today,” said Michael Seiden, MD, PhD, president, The US Oncology Network. “Being able to contribute to such robust thought leadership and work with stakeholders like Ontada and Amgen allow us to really move the needle and enhance cancer care for the patients we serve in the community setting.”

Amgen and Ontada will launch various programs over the course of the partnership and build on projects that have already begun, such as those focusing on reducing gaps in molecular testing and understanding treatment patterns in the community setting. For example, Amgen and McKesson recently conducted real-world research to better understand patterns of molecular testing in advanced/metastatic non-small cell lung cancer with community oncologists with plans to publish the findings in early 2021. Through the strategic partnership, McKesson and Amgen hope to:

  • Elevate awareness on molecular testing in order to optimize care in patients that benefit from targeted therapy;
  • Uncover insights on unmet need and treatment outcomes by enriching data and insight capabilities;
  • Leverage real-world evidence to better understand and optimize the deployment of biosimilars to offer providers and their patients greater choice of therapies relative to value;
  • Co-develop new approaches to deliver immuno-oncology therapies in the community setting; and
  • Optimize therapy sequencing to improve patient outcomes including supportive care.

About Amgen Oncology

Amgen Oncology is searching for and finding answers to incredibly complex questions that will advance care and improve lives for cancer patients and their families. Our research drives us to understand the disease in the context of the patient's life – not just their cancer journey – so they can take control of their lives.

For the last four decades, we have been dedicated to discovering the firsts that matter in oncology and to finding ways to reduce the burden of cancer. Building on our heritage, Amgen continues to advance the largest pipeline in the Company's history, moving with great speed to advance those innovations for the patients who need them.

At Amgen, we are driven by our commitment to transform the lives of cancer patients and keep them at the center of everything we do.

To learn more about Amgen's innovative pipeline with diverse modalities and genetically validated targets, please visit For more information, follow us on

About Amgen

Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.

Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

For more information, visit and follow us on

About Ontada

Ontada is an oncology technology and insights business dedicated to transforming the fight against cancer. Part of McKesson Corporation, Ontada was founded on the core belief that precise insights – delivered exactly at the point of need – can save more patients’ lives. We connect the full patient journey by combining technologies used by The US Oncology Network and other community oncology providers with real-world data and research relied on by all top 15 global life sciences companies. Our work helps accelerate innovation and power the future of cancer care. For more information, visit or follow @OntadaOncology.

About The US Oncology Network

Every day, The US Oncology Network (The Network) helps more than 1,380 independent physicians deliver value-based, integrated care to patients — close to home. Through The Network, these independent doctors come together to form a community of shared expertise and resources dedicated to advancing local cancer care and to delivering better patient outcomes. The Network provides practices with access to coordinated resources, best business practices, and the experience, infrastructure and support of McKesson Corporation. This collaboration allows the providers in The Network to focus on the health of their patients, while McKesson focuses on the health of their practices. The Network is committed to the success of independent practices, everywhere.

About McKesson Corporation

McKesson Corporation is a global leader in healthcare supply chain management solutions, retail pharmacy, community oncology and specialty care, and healthcare information solutions. McKesson partners with pharmaceutical manufacturers, providers, pharmacies, governments and other organizations in healthcare to help provide the right medicines, medical products and healthcare services to the right patients at the right time, safely and cost-effectively. United by our ICARE shared principles, our employees work every day to innovate and deliver opportunities that make our customers and partners more successful — all for the better health of patients. McKesson has been named a “Most Admired Company” in the healthcare wholesaler category by FORTUNE, a “Best Place to Work” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and a top military-friendly company by Military Friendly. For more information, visit

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