The clotting factor goes toward treating people with hemophilia in developing countries where access to medicine is limited. These patients have little to no amounts of a specific blood clotting factor, which can make even small bleeds life threatening.
The donation fulfills a 2014 pledge to donate up to one billion IUs — a unit that measures the amount of a substance based on its biological activity — over a 10-year period. In addition to the medicines, the two companies are continuing to financially support other initiatives, such as treatment, access, and education programs for up to five years.
Thousands of people worldwide have been treated with factor therapies donated by the companies since donations to the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) program began in 2015.
“Through this partnership with Sanofi and Sobi, our Founding Visionary Contributors, we have been able to significantly expand the reach of the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, which is leading to a paradigm shift in the management of haemophilia in areas with limited or no access to treatment and care,” Alain Baumann, CEO, World Federation of Hemophilia, said in a press release.
“With their continued support, we are confident that people with haemophilia in these countries will continue to receive much needed treatment that is both predictable and sustainable — the foundation of the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program. Our vision at WFH is treatment for all,” Baumann added.
Over 75% of people with hemophilia are believed to have little to no access to diagnosis or treatment. The majority of these cases come from developing countries with limited resources. Inadequate treatment severely affects life expectancy, and many patients who do not receive timely and adequate treatment die before reaching adulthood. Those who survive to reach adulthood often face lifelong severe disability, isolation, and chronic pain.
Children, in particular, benefit from corrective surgeries and preventive treatments, which are impossible without a consistent supply of clotting factor.
Sobi and Sanofi state in the release that, since beginning their work with the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, they have provided over 450 million IUs of clotting factor to more than 17,200 people with hemophilia in 42 countries, with 900 children under age 10 now receiving preventive treatment.
More than 160,000 acute bleeds have been treated, and over 2,300 surgeries have taken place, including those that were life- and limb-saving.
“In the past five years, we have seen the life-changing impact a reliable supply of factor therapy can have for people in developing countries; access to prophylactic treatment for children, corrective surgeries, all helping to reduce the burden of this disease,” said Bill Sibold, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Genzyme. “We are honored to play our role in providing hope to those patients and families most in need.”
The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program works to ensure a predictable and sustainable flow of humanitarian aid donations to people living with bleeding disorders in developing countries. It is supported by founding partners Sanofi Genzyme and Sobi, as well as by Bayer, Grifols, Roche, and CSL Behring.
“For lasting change to become a reality, we need to recognize that access to treatment is a fundamental human right. We are proud to do our part to address this critical health issue, in partnership with Sanofi,” said Guido Oelkers, CEO and president at Sobi.
“Partnership in reaching the goals is essential. We are pleased to see others following our lead and encourage more companies to join in the shift that the WFH and their local organizations have made possible and that we together can carry forward,” Oelkers added. “Only through a broad long-term commitment to increase awareness, knowledge and access to treatments will the effect of our donation be sustainable and withstanding.”
To learn more about the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, visit this site.
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