Chris Bombardier Readies for Climb of Mount Vinson, Final of 7 Summits, with Help of Octapharma USA

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Chris Bombardier

Chris Bombardier, a hemophiliac, is readying to climb Mount Vinson in Antarctica. (Courtesy of Business Wire)

Chris Bombardier, who aims to become the first person with severe hemophiliac to climb what are known as the world’s Seven Summits, is about to conquer his last, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, with the help of Octapharma USA.

The New Jersey-based company has given an unspecified grant to Bombardier and his “Bombardier Blood” documentary team to support the final leg of his journey, which will culminate with the release of the documentary.

Bombardier was diagnosed with severe hemophilia B at his birth, 31 years ago. He says started climbing mountains on seven continents for two reasons: to focus attention on the global disparities in access to hemophilia treatment, and to show that hemophilia patients, with appropriate care, can do whatever they set their minds to doing.

Bombardier will begin to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica at 16,050 feet, or 4,892 meters, in December, after meeting with his team in Chile.

“It’s incredible to have Octapharma as a partner on this climb as well,” Bombardier said in a press release. “This will be my last climb in my attempt to summit the highest mountains on each of the seven continents better known as the Seven Summits. I will not only be the first person with Hemophilia to climb this peak, but also the first person with Hemophilia to climb the Seven Summits, something that only around 450 people have ever completed.”

Octapharma is the maker of Nuwiq (simoctocog alfa), which contains the recombinant blood clotting protein Factor VIII, and is approved at various strenghts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hemophilia A.

“We look to inspire patients and enhance their quality of life in many ways,” said Flemming Nielsen, president of Octapharma. “We really believe it is important for families and patients to understand they can have a good quality of life while managing their bleeding disorder.”

Bombardier, who also writes the blog “Adventures of a Hemophiliac,” became the first person with hemophilia to climb Mount Everest in May 2017, located between Nepal and China and the world’s highest peak. He previously climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in South America, Elbrus in Europe, Denali in North America, and Carstensz Pyramid/Puncak Jaya in Australasia.

Production of “Bombardier Blood” will continue and document the climb to Mount Vinson’s peak. The film is being directed by Patrick James Lynch, who also has severe hemophilia.

“Bombardier Blood will be submitted into 2018 film festivals starting in the first quarter of 2018,” said Lynch, the chief executive officer of Believe Limited.