World Federation of Hemophilia Announces Expansion of Humanitarian Aid Program
Biogen, Sobi and the World Federation of Hemophilia Collaboration to Enable a Sustained Humanitarian Supply of Hemophilia Treatment; Potential to Change Treatment Paradigm in Developing Countries
DAKAR, Senegal--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The first shipments of much-needed hemophilia therapy have started to arrive at treatment centers across the developing world Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB), Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (publ) (Sobi) (STO: SOBI) and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) announced today. These shipments are part of the largest humanitarian aid pledge of its kind to help people with hemophilia in developing countries.
The donation will provide up to 500 million units of hemophilia therapy over five years to the WFH and represents a significant contribution to the expansion of their Humanitarian Aid Program, a 20-year old initiative dedicated to providing treatment and care for people with hemophilia in the developing world. This initiative is the first phase of Biogen and Sobi’s ten-year commitment to produce 1 billion International Units (IUs) of hemophilia therapy for humanitarian use.
Hemophilia is a rare, chronic, inherited disorder in which the ability of a person’s blood to clot is impaired. The WFH donation program is designed to create a sustainable model for humanitarian aid that has the potential to improve hemophilia care in regions of the world where, due to limited access to diagnosis and treatment, people with severe hemophilia often do not survive to adulthood. This donation is intended to help enable a predictable and sustainable supply of therapy to countries in need, and is the first time treatment clinics will receive product manufactured specifically for humanitarian use. The first recipient countries of the donation include Senegal, Kenya, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Uzbekistan, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, El Salvador, Indonesia, Ghana, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and Nigeria.
“The majority of people with hemophilia in developing countries do not live past adulthood and if they do, they face a life of severe disability and chronic pain,” said Assad E. Haffar, M.D., WFH Humanitarian Aid Program Director. “The lack of access to clotting factor concentrates in these countries presents an urgent and important public health challenge.”
“By expanding the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program through larger and more predictable donations, we may now be in a position to create a foundation for more sustainable and improved care in parts of the world where there is an urgent need,” said WFH President Alain Weill.
According to the WFH, an estimated 400,000 people worldwide have hemophilia and of these, more than 300,000 individuals live in areas where there is limited access to diagnosis and treatment. This commitment from Biogen and Sobi and the steady flow of medicine to WFH may help enable access to treatment for emergency situations, acute bleeds, elective surgeries and also prophylaxis for children.
“The WFH has made great strides in advancing the care for people with hemophilia in developing countries over the last two decades, and we are proud to help them accelerate their efforts,” remarked John Cox, executive vice president, Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology at Biogen. “This is a significant milestone in our joint effort with the WFH and our hope is that others will join us to help create a sustainable model for humanitarian support.”
“We regard healthcare innovation as a global commitment. By helping to address the global treatment gap and supporting the WFH’s mission of treatment for all, we hope to enable meaningful change for people with hemophilia across the world,” said Geoffrey McDonough, president and chief executive officer of Sobi.
About the World Federation of Hemophilia
For over 50 years, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), an international not-for-profit organization, has worked to improve the lives of people with hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. Established in 1963, it is a global network of patient organizations in 127 countries and has official recognition from the World Health Organization. Visit WFH online at www.wfh.org
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen is one of the world’s oldest independent biotechnology companies and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative hemophilia therapies. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the Company, please visit www.biogen.com.
Sobi is an international specialty healthcare company dedicated to rare diseases. Sobi’s mission is to develop and deliver innovative therapies and services to improve the lives of patients. The product portfolio is primarily focused on Haemophilia, Inflammation and Genetic diseases. Sobi also markets a portfolio of specialty and rare disease products for partner companies across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia. Sobi is a pioneer in biotechnology with world-class capabilities in protein biochemistry and biologics manufacturing. In 2014, Sobi had total revenues of SEK 2.6 billion (USD 380 M) and about 600 employees. The share (STO: SOBI) is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm. More information is available at www.sobi.com.
Biogen Safe Harbor
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the amount of clotting factors donation to be supplied and the timing thereof, as well as the potential impact of that supply. These statements may be identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “will” and similar expressions, and are based on current beliefs and expectations. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements, including the risk of manufacturing problems, collaboration risks, and the other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section of Biogen’s most recent annual or quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and Biogen assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.