Bayer Makes Global Impact Through World Federation of Hemophilia Humanitarian Aid Program
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Bayer entered into a five-year partnership with the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Humanitarian Aid Program. In addition to education and training, it will offer Bayer’s complete portfolio of recombinant Factor VIII (rFVIII) treatments to healthcare providers in more than 60 countries.
This year alone, Bayer will donate 50 million international units of its rFVIII products. Its portfolio for hemophilia A includes Jivia, Kogenate FS/Bayer and Kovaltry.
“Three out of four people with bleeding disorders living in developing countries do not have access to adequate treatment, which can have a fatal impact,” stated Alain Weill, president of the WFH. “The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program helps fulfill this urgent and important public health challenge, and its efforts would not be possible without the support of companies such as Bayer.”
He added, “Bayer’s contribution to the program will make a significant difference to nearly 5,000 people living with hemophilia A. Today’s announcement serves as an example of how partnerships enable us to continue providing access to treatment for those in need, regardless of where they live.”
Hemophilia affects about 400,000 people worldwide, including about 20,000 in the U.S. It is a mostly inherited disorder in which one of the proteins involved in blood clotting is missing or inadequate. In hemophilia A, which is the most common form of hemophilia, blood clotting malfunctions because of a lack or defect of coagulation factor VIII.
Patients with hemophilia experienced repeated bleeds in muscles, joints, or other tissues, which can cause chronic joint damage. External injuries, even minor ones, can have serious consequences if not treated appropriately.
In 2018, more than 18,400 patients received treatment via the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program. The Bayer commitment will provide treatment for as many as 5,000 people with hemophilia A. Bayer is also providing financial assistance to support training and education of healthcare professionals on use of the drugs.
In April, the WFH partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to establish a gene therapy clinical trial for hemophilia B patients in countries with low- and middle-incomes. Glenn Pierce, WFH vice president Medical, stated at the time, “Presently, individuals in these countries have significant morbidity and mortality due to their hemophilia B. Gene therapy represents a new modality that can eliminate peaks and troughs of clotting factor replacement therapy. This results in circulating significant amounts of factor IX that should prevent most, or possibly all, bleeding episodes.”
St. Jude plans to sponsor and run a Phase II gene therapy trial for adults and older adolescents with hemophilia B. The gene therapy involves using a virus as a vector to deliver a normal factor IX gene into liver cells.
Earlier this year, in February, Roche joined the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, donating emicizumab, a prophylactic treatment for hemophilia A. It also is funding the program’s care development training for the drug. The donation will provide treatment to as many as 1,000 hemophilia A patients in developing countries over five years.
Since 2015, other contributors have included Bioverativ, a Sanofi company, and Sobi. Other contributors include Grifols, CSL Behring and GC Pharma.