PRESS RELEASE: Walgreens Boots Alliance Launches Second Phase of Partnership with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer

DEERFIELD, Ill., September 5, 2018 – Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) today announced the launch of the second phase of its partnership with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).

As a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility, Walgreens Boots Alliance is setting the pace on some of the most important health care issues of our day. During the course of the first phase of the partnership (2011-2016), Walgreens Boots Alliance’s employee-led fundraising initiatives raised more than €5 million to support the EORTC in the creation of the ‘SPECTAcolor’ Biobank for colorectal cancer research.

The Biobank enables highly tailored treatments for those affected by the disease and now has over 1,100 patients enrolled. The methodology developed has been extremely effective: it is widely recognized as one of the leading infrastructures for sustaining clinical research in precision oncology in Europe and has been adopted as the European Union biobanking standard for rare adult cancers.

During the next five years, Walgreens Boots Alliance aims to raise a further €5 million, to enable the roll out of the ‘SPECTAcolor’ methodology to all other types of cancer.

On September 4, 2018 Ornella Barra, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Chairman of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, visited the EORTC headquarters in Brussels to launch the second phase of the this partnership. She met with the EORTC leadership team to review the achievements of phase one and discuss the aims for phase two.

At the end of the visit Ornella Barra said: “For all of us at Walgreens Boots Alliance, our partnership with EORTC is one of our key contributions to the fight against cancer, making a real difference to the lives of millions of patients.

I am delighted that, following the great success and achievements of phase one, we are now renewing the partnership and see the ‘SPECTAcolor’ methodology expanding to cover all other types of cancer. I want to warmly thank our employees for their commitment. It is thanks to them that we have already achieved so much. Their passion fills me with hope for what we can achieve over the next five years.”

Dr. Denis Lacombe, EORTC Director General, said: “The partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance has really supported clinical cancer research in the era of precision oncology. The knowledge gained from addressing a patient’s molecular biology can now be extended to more cancers thus enabling us to develop better treatments across tumors. This research fulfills our joint objectives to improve survival and quality of life of cancer patients.

Professor Bertrand Tombal, EORTC President, and Count Diego du Monceau, chair of the EORTC Cancer Research Fund, join me in expressing our gratitude to the management, the employees and the partners of Walgreens Boots Alliance for their continued support.”


Notes to Editors:

About Walgreens Boots Alliance

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. The company’s heritage of trusted health care services through community pharmacy care and pharmaceutical wholesaling dates back more than 100 years.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination across the U.S. and Europe. Walgreens Boots Alliance and the companies in which it has equity method investments together have a presence in more than 25* countries and employ more than 385,000* people. The company is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail and, together with the companies in which it has equity method investments, has approximately 14,500** stores in 11* countries as well as one of the largest global pharmaceutical wholesale and distribution networks, with more than 390* distribution centers delivering to more than 230,000*** pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals each year in more than 20* countries. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance is one of the world’s largest purchasers of prescription drugs and many other health and wellbeing products.

The company’s portfolio of retail and business brands includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare, as well as increasingly global health and beauty product brands, such as No7, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP and Botanics.

More company information is available at

* As of August 31, 2017, using publicly available information for AmerisourceBergen.

** As of June 28, 2018.

*** For 12 months ending August 31, 2017, using publicly available information for AmerisourceBergen.


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About EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer)

European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer conducts clinical research in cancer, defining new standards of practice for better treatment and care of cancer patients.  EORTC network comprises more than 5500 multidisciplinary collaborators in more than 930 hospitals and institutions in 27 countries. For more information, visit

Media Relations

  • Davi Kaur (+32 2 774 1513)
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