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Every year since 2000, Astex employees and their families have taken part in the Light The Night of East Bay event in Walnut Creek in Northern California to raise much needed funds and awareness to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The LLS, founded in 1949, is the largest voluntary organization in the US dedicated to research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatment for blood cancer patients. In 1964 the survival rate for childhood leukemia was just 3%, now thanks in part to research, funding, and better support for patients from the society the survival rate is 91%. Since its inception, the society has contributed over $1billion towards improving the lives and outcomes for blood cancer patients.
Light The Night draws nearly one million participants over the year to join one of LLS's 160+ evening events across the US. Participants walk the course holding illuminated lanterns in three colours: white lanterns are carried by patients and survivors; red lanterns by supporters; gold by participants who are walking in memory of a loved one. In speaking about Light The Night, the East Bay Campaign Director for LLS, Andrea Orozco said, "When LLS walks, cancer runs".
Last year, Astex employees raised $44,393 for LLS through fund raising events and the Astex corporate match program. 57 employees from Team Astex and their family members joined the event to raise awareness for blood cancers. To date, Astex and its employees have contributed in excess of $465,000 to LLS activities such as Light The Night, Patient Assistance Programs, and educational events and grants. In addition, an Astex employee has served on the local board or was a member of the LLS organizing committee for the past 15 years.
In recognition of their efforts, executives and staff members of Astex received awards from the society, including one for being the top corporate fundraising team and one for the most money raised by an individual. To Astex these activities are more than about raising money for the society, as the President and Chief Medical Officer of Astex, Mohammad Azab explains, "Every employee at Astex is deeply committed to the search for a cure to blood cancers and we are proud to support the mission of the LLS in improving the lives of patients and their families".
Otsuka affiliate Astex is a leader in innovative drug discovery and development. The company is committed to the fight against cancer as well as disorders of the central nervous system. Find out more about Astex at www.astx.com