First Doses of BRUKINSA® provided to Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Under Collaboration of The Max Foundation, BeiGene, and the BeiGene Foundation – BeiGene LTD

First Doses of BRUKINSA® provided to Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Under Collaboration of The Max Foundation, BeiGene, and the BeiGene Foundation

Mar 13, 2024 8:00 AM

Armenia and Nepal are the first of 29 countries to receive BRUKINSA

SEATTLE & BASEL, Switzerland & BEIJING & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Max Foundation (Max), a global nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating health equity by delivering medication, technology, and supportive services to patients worldwide, BeiGene, a global oncology company, and the BeiGene Foundation, a nonprofit charitable foundation, today announced that the first doses of BRUKINSA® (zanubrutinib) have been administered for the treatment of adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to patients in Armenia and Nepal, as part of a three-year collaboration to provide access to the medicine in 29 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

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“We are thrilled to share that the first group of people diagnosed with CLL in Armenia and Nepal have received treatment free of charge through our collaboration with BeiGene and the BeiGene Foundation,” said Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, CEO of Max. “BeiGene has demonstrated that it is possible for companies to provide access to innovative treatments to regions in the world where access is limited or unavailable during the same year a drug receives approval in the U.S. We look forward to working together to expand access to this much-needed treatment to more patients.”

Last year, BeiGene joined Max’s Humanitarian Partnership for Access to Cancer Treatments (Humanitarian PACT), a collaboration among professional, nonprofit, and commercial organizations that share the commitment to increase global access to treatment, care, and support for people living with cancer. As a member of the Humanitarian PACT, BeiGene provided a monetary grant through the BeiGene Foundation and is providing BRUKINSA free of charge for eligible patients in a number of low- and middle-income countries.

“BeiGene and Max share a commitment to advance global health equity and ensure that patients in underserved regions have access to the best possible cancer care. The administration of the first doses of BRUKINSA to patients with CLL in Armenia and Nepal under our collaboration with Max and the BeiGene Foundation represents a crucial step in achieving this mission,” said John V. Oyler, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO at BeiGene. “We are honored to participate in this worthy collaboration and support Max’s efforts to deliver innovative cancer medicines to patients in need around the world.”

“For many years, the treatment of blood cancer, particularly CLL, has posed and continues to pose a significant challenge in Armenia. New medicines and treatments have simply not been accessible to those in need,” said Karen Meliksetyan, M.D., Head of Bone Marrow Transplant Department, Yeolyan Hematology and Oncology Center, Yerevan, Armenia. “The donation of BRUKINSA presents a tremendous opportunity for our patients to access treatment and will have a positive impact on many patients.”

CLL is the most common leukemia in adults, accounting for about one third of new cases of leukemia worldwidei. BeiGene and Max aim to provide access to CLL treatment to patients in need in 29 low- and middle-income countries. In each country, verified physicians within Max’s network will submit a request for treatment to Max for patients who are under their care and are candidates for BRUKINSA. Upon patient identity verification and CLL diagnosis confirmation, Max will deliver the treatment directly to the health institution providing care to the patient through well-established supply chains.

About The Max Foundation
The Max Foundation is a global health nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating health equity. For 26 years, Max has pioneered practical, scalable, high-quality solutions to bring lifesaving treatments and patient-centered health care to more than 100,000 people living with cancer and critical illness in low- and middle-income countries. Max believes in a world where all people can access high-impact medicines, where geography is not destiny, and where everyone can strive for health with dignity and with hope. Learn more at

About BeiGene
BeiGene is a global oncology company that is discovering and developing innovative treatments that are more affordable and accessible to cancer patients worldwide. With a broad portfolio, we are expediting development of our diverse pipeline of novel therapeutics through our internal capabilities and collaborations. We are committed to radically improving access to medicines for far more patients who need them. Our growing global team of more than 10,000 colleagues spans five continents, with administrative offices in Basel, Beijing, and Cambridge, U.S. To learn more about BeiGene, please visit and follow us on LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter).

About the BeiGene Foundation
The BeiGene Foundation is a charitable organization established by BeiGene, Ltd. It is a separate legal entity from BeiGene, Ltd. with distinct legal restrictions. The foundation’s mission is to advance global health by improving access to high quality therapies to more people around the world focused on three strategic areas: health equity, disaster relief, and community engagement.


Warnings and Precautions


Fatal and serious hemorrhage has occurred in patients with hematological malignancies treated with BRUKINSA. Grade 3 or higher hemorrhage including intracranial and gastrointestinal hemorrhage, hematuria, and hemothorax was reported in 3.8% of patients treated with BRUKINSA in clinical trials, with fatalities occurring in 0.2% of patients. Bleeding of any grade, excluding purpura and petechiae, occurred in 32% of patients.

Bleeding has occurred in patients with and without concomitant antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy. Coadministration of BRUKINSA with antiplatelet or anticoagulant medications may further increase the risk of hemorrhage.

Monitor for signs and symptoms of bleeding. Discontinue BRUKINSA if intracranial hemorrhage of any grade occurs. Consider the benefit-risk of withholding BRUKINSA for 3-7 days before and after surgery depending upon the type of surgery and the risk of bleeding.


Fatal and serious infections (including bacterial, viral, or fungal infections) and opportunistic infections have occurred in patients with hematological malignancies treated with BRUKINSA. Grade 3 or higher infections occurred in 26% of patients, most commonly pneumonia (7.9%), with fatal infections occurring in 3.2% of patients. Infections due to hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation have occurred.

Consider prophylaxis for herpes simplex virus, pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, and other infections according to standard of care in patients who are at increased risk for infections. Monitor and evaluate patients for fever or other signs and symptoms of infection and treat appropriately.


Grade 3 or 4 cytopenias, including neutropenia (21%), thrombocytopenia (8%) and anemia (8%) based on laboratory measurements, developed in patients treated with BRUKINSA. Grade 4 neutropenia occurred in 10% of patients, and Grade 4 thrombocytopenia occurred in 2.5% of patients.

Monitor complete blood counts regularly during treatment and interrupt treatment, reduce the dose, or discontinue treatment as warranted. Treat using growth factor or transfusions, as needed.

Second Primary Malignancies

Second primary malignancies, including non-skin carcinoma, have occurred in 14% of patients treated with BRUKINSA. The most frequent second primary malignancy was non-melanoma skin cancers (8%), followed by other solid tumors in 7% of the patients (including melanoma in 1% of patients) and hematologic malignancies (0.7%). Advise patients to use sun protection and monitor patients for the development of second primary malignancies.

Cardiac Arrhythmias

Serious cardiac arrhythmias have occurred in patients treated with BRUKINSA. Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter were reported in 4.4% patients treated with BRUKINSA, including Grade 3 or higher cases in 1.9% of patients. Patients with cardiac risk factors, hypertension, and acute infections may be at increased risk. Grade 3 or higher ventricular arrhythmias were reported in 0.3% of patients.

Monitor for signs and symptoms of cardiac arrhythmias (e.g., palpitations, dizziness, syncope, dyspnea, chest discomfort), manage appropriately, and consider the risks and benefits of continued BRUKINSA treatment.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Based on findings in animals, BRUKINSA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Administration of zanubrutinib to pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis caused embryo-fetal toxicity, including malformations at exposures that were 5 times higher than those reported in patients at the recommended dose of 160 mg twice daily. Advise women to avoid becoming pregnant while taking BRUKINSA and for 1 week after the last dose. Advise men to avoid fathering a child during treatment and for 1 week after the last dose. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus.

Adverse Reactions

The most common adverse reactions (≥30%), including laboratory abnormalities, in patients who received BRUKINSA (N=1729) are decreased neutrophil count (51%), decreased platelet count (41%), upper respiratory tract infection (38%), hemorrhage (32%), and musculoskeletal pain (31%).

Drug Interactions

CYP3A Inhibitors: When BRUKINSA is co-administered with a strong CYP3A inhibitor, reduce BRUKINSA dose to 80 mg once daily. For coadministration with a moderate CYP3A inhibitor, reduce BRUKINSA dose to 80 mg twice daily.

CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration with strong or moderate CYP3A inducers. Dose adjustment may be recommended with moderate CYP3A inducers.

Specific Populations

Hepatic Impairment: The recommended dose of BRUKINSA for patients with severe hepatic impairment is 80 mg orally twice daily.

Please see full U.S. Prescribing Information including U.S. Patient Information.

BeiGene’s Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws, including statements regarding BeiGene’s ability to provide access to innovative treatments to regions with limited access during the year a drug receives approval in the U.S.; BeiGene’s ability to treat more patient pursuant to this collaboration; BeiGene’s commitment to advance global health equity; and BeiGene’s plans, commitments, aspirations, and goals under the heading “About BeiGene.” Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including BeiGene's ability to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its drug candidates; the clinical results for its drug candidates, which may not support further development or marketing approval; actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of clinical trials and marketing approval; BeiGene's ability to achieve commercial success for its marketed medicines and drug candidates, if approved; BeiGene's ability to obtain and maintain protection of intellectual property for its medicines and technology; BeiGene's reliance on third parties to conduct drug development, manufacturing, commercialization, and other services; BeiGene’s limited experience in obtaining regulatory approvals and commercializing pharmaceutical products; BeiGene’s ability to obtain additional funding for operations and to complete the development of its drug candidates and achieve and maintain profitability; and those risks more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in BeiGene’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in BeiGene's subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and BeiGene undertakes no duty to update such information unless required by law.

i 2 Yao Y, Lin X, Li F, Jin J, Wang H. The global burden and attributable risk factors of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019: analysis based on the global burden of disease study 2019. Retrieved from

Eliza Schleifstein, The Max Foundation
(917) 763-8106

Kyle Blankenship, BeiGene
(667) 351-5176

Source: BeiGene