BeiGene bumps AbbVie, J&J from top lymphoma event sponsor spot

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has a new top sponsor for its Light The Night events. BeiGene has inked a three-year deal for the sponsorship opportunity, bumping AbbVie’s Pharmacyclics and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen out of the way in the process.

BeiGene, which sells the lymphoma drug Brukinsa, was previously one of around a dozen companies on the bottom tier of the event’s sponsorship pyramid. Pharmacyclics and Janssen, the companies behind the lymphoma blockbuster Imbruvica, sat at the apex of the pyramid. Now, with BeiGene working to win share from Imbruvica, the biotech has struck a deal for the top sponsorship spot.  

Under a new three-year partnership, BeiGene will serve as the “sponsor of survivorship and hope” at the upcoming Light The Night philanthropic events in the U.S. The LLS holds more than 100 events each fall. Attendees carry different colored lanterns—white for cancer survivors—and take part in a ceremony.

"The moment someone is diagnosed with blood cancer, they are considered a survivor, facing special needs from diagnosis and treatment to remission and beyond," Gwen Nichols, M.D., chief medical officer at the LLS, said in a statement. "LLS's Light The Night inspires communities, bringing more people out of the darkness of cancer, shining a light on survivors everywhere.” 

The LLS said, “BeiGene's more than 1,500 U.S. colleagues will hold their lanterns high and participate in Light The Night nationwide.” The biotech framed the sponsorship deal in the context of its “core value” of putting patients first.

BeiGene’s ascension to the top sponsorship part reflects a shift in lymphoma market share. Brukinsa sales increased 135% in the fourth quarter, bringing its full-year haul up to $1.3 billion. AbbVie recorded a 19% drop in global Imbruvica revenues in the fourth quarter. Competitors have chipped away at sales of the drug for several years and now U.S. price negotiations are set to turn the screw.