Amgen calls on TV actor 'McDreamy' to lead latest Breakaway from Cancer campaign

Breakaway from Cancer ambassador Patrick Dempsey, photo courtesy of Amgen.

McDreamy is back on TV. Not the fictional “Grey’s Anatomy” doctor, but the actor who portrayed him.

Patrick Dempsey stars in a new Amgen ($AMGN) campaign for its Breakaway from Cancer initiative, focused on cancer education and support services. Dempsey has been an ambassador for the campaign since 2007, but recently debuted in a new public service announcement.

Along with Dempsey, three cancer survivors and caregivers appear in the ad, with the first airing of the PSA last week during the 11th annual cycling event, Amgen Tour of California. Dempsey lost his mother to ovarian cancer in 2014 after a nearly two-decade battle with the disease. He founded the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in 2008 to provide cancer support, education and wellness services. It operates on funds raised through the annual walk, run and bike Dempsey Challenge, presented by Amgen.


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Amgen’s nonprofit partners in the Breakaway effort are concentrated in four areas: prevention through the Prevent Cancer Foundation; support in fighting the disease through the Cancer Support Community; financial assistance through the Patient Advocate Foundation and survivorship through the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. The collective intent is to offer a broad range of services from prevention through disease end.

Raymond Jordan, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Amgen, said in a release, “Similar to the sport of cycling where it takes a team to achieve success, one person alone cannot beat cancer. Amgen is proud to be a part of the team to help empower patients with education, resources and hope through Breakaway from Cancer.”

Dempsey is not the only celebrity involved in the charity. TV show host Joan Lunden and soap opera star Katherine Kelly Lang are also ambassadors for the program.

Amgen, which markets a range of drugs for cancer patients, including Neupogen, Neulasta, Blincyto and new first-in-class immuno-oncology drug Imlygic, founded Breakaway from Cancer in 2005. More recently it launched a similarly named effort, Breakaway from Heart Disease, with professional football player Joe Montana and his wife Jennifer as spokespeople.

- read the press release

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