Biogen and Sobi to Donate Hemophilia Therapy to Developing Countries

Agreement will send nearly 500 million units of treatment over the course of 5 years to the World Federation of Hemophilia.

Agreement will send nearly 500 million units of treatment over the course of 5 years to the World Federation of Hemophilia.

Biogen, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi), and the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) recently announced that the first shipments of highly-needed hemophilia therapy have begun to arrive at treatment centers in developing countries.

The shipments arrive after the largest humanitarian aid pledge of its kind targeted specifically at hemophilia patients and helping them survive in developing countries. The donation will help to provide nearly 500 million units of hemophilia therapy over the course of 5 years to the WFH.

The humanitarian aid is the first phase of Biogen and Sobi’s 10-year commitment to create 1 billion international units (IUs) of hemophilia therapy for humanitarian use.

There are some regions of the world that cannot provide sufficient enough care to patients with hemophilia, and therefore many patients do not survive into adulthood. The WFH donation program is designed to help diminish these barriers to care and improve hemophilia care in these regions of the world.

“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.

The donation will serve to enable a predictable and sustainable supply of therapy to countries most in need and is the first time treatment clinics will receive product manufactured specifically for humanitarian use. The first countries to receive 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, MD, WFH Humanitarian Aid Program Director. “The lack of access to clotting factor concentrates in these countries presents and urgent and important public health challenge.”

There are an estimated 400,000 people worldwide who have hemophilia and of those, more than 300,000 individuals live in areas where there is limited access to care, according to the WFH.

The commitment from Biogen and Sobi and the steady flow of much-needed medicine to WFH may help enable access to treatment for emergency situations, acute bleeds, elective surgeries, and prophylaxis for children.

“We regard health care 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.