Last Friday, June 15, several CRI staffers headed down to Gaithersburg, Maryland, to participate in a celebratory Cancer Immunotherapy Month #WearWhite Day employee engagement event hosted at MedImmune, the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca is a foundational partner in CRI’s Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator and provides substantial support for CRI’s patient education, awareness, and scientific programs.
Employees wearing the official CRI Cancer Immunotherapy Month 2018 t-shirt gathered near the MedImmune campus’ sprawling dining and recreation area, which for this event was decked out with festive #WearWhite-themed décor including a floor carpeted in white balloons, a pop-up photo booth, and a giant digital display featuring CRI’s awareness campaign slogan. Vanilla ice cream with white chocolate chip toppings, white chocolate-covered pretzels, and a wine bar (serving, you guessed it, white wine), along with sliders and white bread mini-sandwiches kept the attendees sated during the two-hour celebration.
Kicking off the event was Jane Chung, AstraZeneca’s US franchise head, Immuno-Oncology, who described her company’s ongoing commitment to cancer immunotherapy research and development, and voiced how proud she is of its many years of support for CRI.
Chung then invited Brian Brewer, CRI director of marketing and communications, to say a few words about the role CRI has played in advancing the field of immuno-oncology and the importance of CRI’s partnership with AstraZeneca and other pharma and biotech industry partners, without whom lifesaving and life-extending immunotherapies ultimately would not be available to the millions of patients diagnosed with cancer each year.
Rounding out the brief speaking portion were Giovanni Melilo, vice president, Global Medical Affairs, Immuno-Oncology, and David Berman, senior vice president, R&D Oncology, IMED, who both described the tremendous progress that’s been made in immuno-oncology and its potential to transform treatment of many different cancers, and highlighted promising new drugs in the company’s immuno-oncology R&D pipeline.
Some of the participants then gathered on a brightly-lit staircase to snap a #WearWhite photo, which the company shared on its social media account, joining hundreds of other companies and individuals around the world online who #WearWhite for a future immune to cancer.
CRI is grateful to all the dedicated employees at MedImmune/AstraZeneca who are working to improve outcomes for cancer patients through the advancement of immunotherapy.