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10.05.2022 07:00

Roche pledges to extend commitment to the World Federation of Hemophilia Humanitarian Aid Program to 2028

  • The renewed commitment will provide continued preventative (prophylactic) treatment to as many as 1,000 people with haemophilia A in locations where there is little to no access to haemophilia treatment
  • Prophylactic treatment aims to prevent bleeds and allow people with haemophilia to achieve quality of life comparable to non-haemophilic individuals. Access to this is particularly restricted in developing countries, with the limited healthcare resources reserved for emergency situations and acute bleeds
  • More than 940 people across 30 countries have already benefited from Roche’s donations since the start of the partnership in February 2019

Basel, 10 May 2022 – Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that it has extended its commitment to the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Humanitarian Aid Program until the end of 2028. Roche’s prophylactic treatment will be provided to the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program to continue to treat as many as 1,000 people with haemophilia A in locations where there is little to no access to treatment. The partnership, which was originally formed by Roche and the WFH in February 2019, marked the first time that patients in developing countries had received access to a prophylactic treatment. The donated treatment has since benefited more than 940 people across 30 countries.

"Our renewed commitment will allow us to continue to help people with haemophilia A most in need,” said Bill Anderson, CEO Roche Pharmaceuticals. "We are proud to be recognised by the WFH as a Visionary Contributor of the Program and are delighted to announce that our commitment to the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program has been extended until 2028.”

"Last year was a record year for the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, which continues to make life-changing treatment accessible for those who need it most,” said Cesar Garrido, WFH President. "With Roche’s continued support, we will be able to continue the important work that the Humanitarian Aid Program does, giving people with bleeding disorders the hope of leading a normal life through prophylactic treatment."

Most people with bleeding disorders in developing countries have no access to diagnosis, treatment and care,1 which significantly affects their health, quality of life and life expectancy. Access to prophylactic treatment – the standard of care for haemophilia A to prevent bleeds in most of the developed world – is particularly restricted in developing countries, with the limited healthcare resources reserved for emergency situations and acute bleeds.2,3 In some developing countries, low dose prophylaxis has been developed as a solution to provide better care for those with haemophilia,4 although this does not provide the standard of care seen with higher dose prophylaxis regimens, considered the ‘gold standard’.2 People with severe haemophilia in these countries often do not survive to adulthood because they are unable to access the treatment they critically need.5 For those who do, life often entails severe disability, isolation and chronic pain.

The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program is a landmark initiative leading the effort to help address the lack of access to care and treatment by providing much-needed support for people with inherited bleeding disorders in developing countries. So far, more than 22,000 people with haemophilia in over 112 countries have been treated with prophylactic and on-demand treatment thanks to the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, with over 2,000 receiving prophylactic treatment.6

"Thanks to the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, more people with haemophilia A are able to benefit from our prophylactic treatment, originated by Chugai; providing not only sustainable care to the individual, but ultimately benefiting their societies as a whole,” said Dr Osamu Okuda, Chugai’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am delighted that Chugai and Roche will continue to support the Program, so that we can ensure consistent access to our innovative and important prophylactic treatment through the WFH.”

About The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program
The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program improves the lack of access to care and treatment by providing much-needed support for people with inherited bleeding disorders in developing countries. By providing patients with a more predictable and sustainable flow of humanitarian aid donations, the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program makes it possible for patients to receive consistent and reliable access to treatment and care. None of this would be possible without the generous support of Sanofi and Sobi, our Founding Visionary Contributors; Bayer, CSL Behring and Roche, our Visionary Contributors; Grifols, our Leadership Contributor; and Takeda, our Contributor. To learn more about the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program, visit www.treatmentforall.org.

About haemophilia A
Haemophilia A is an inherited, serious disorder in which a person’s blood does not clot properly, leading to uncontrolled and often spontaneous bleeding. Haemophilia A affects around 900,000 people worldwide, approximately 35-39% of whom have a severe form of the disorder. People with haemophilia A either lack or do not have enough of a clotting protein called factor VIII. In a healthy person, when a bleed occurs, factor VIII brings together the clotting factors IXa and X, which is a critical step in the formation of a blood clot to help stop bleeding. Depending on the severity of their disorder, people with haemophilia A can bleed frequently, especially into their joints or muscles. These bleeds can present a significant health concern as they often cause pain and can lead to chronic swelling, deformity, reduced mobility, and long-term joint damage. A serious complication of treatment is the development of inhibitors to factor VIII replacement therapies. Inhibitors are antibodies developed by the body’s immune system that bind to and block the efficacy of replacement factor VIII, making it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a level of factor VIII sufficient to control bleeding.

About Roche in haematology
Roche has been developing medicines for people with malignant and non-malignant blood diseases for over 20 years; our experience and knowledge in this therapeutic area runs deep. Today, we are investing more than ever in our effort to bring innovative treatment options to patients across a wide range of haematological diseases. Our approved medicines include MabThera®/Rituxan® (rituximab), Gazyva®/Gazyvaro® (obinutuzumab), Polivy® (polatuzumab vedotin), Venclexta®/Venclyxto® (venetoclax) in collaboration with AbbVie, and Hemlibra® (emicizumab). Our pipeline of investigational haematology medicines includes T-cell engaging bispecific antibodies, glofitamab and mosunetuzumab, targeting both CD20 and CD3, and cevostamab, targeting both FcRH5 and CD3; Tecentriq® (atezolizumab), a monoclonal antibody designed to bind with PD-L1; and crovalimab, an anti-C5 antibody engineered to optimise complement inhibition. Our scientific expertise, combined with the breadth of our portfolio and pipeline, also provides a unique opportunity to develop combination regimens that aim to improve the lives of patients even further.

About Roche
Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, as one of the first industrial manufacturers of branded medicines, Roche has grown into the world’s largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in-vitro diagnostics. The company pursues scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics for improving and saving the lives of people around the world. We are a pioneer in personalised healthcare and want to further transform how healthcare is delivered to have an even greater impact. To provide the best care for each person we partner with many stakeholders and combine our strengths in Diagnostics and Pharma with data insights from the clinical practice.

In recognising our endeavor to pursue a long-term perspective in all we do, Roche has been named one of the most sustainable companies in the pharmaceuticals industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the thirteenth consecutive year. This distinction also reflects our efforts to improve access to healthcare together with local partners in every country we work.

Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.

For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

[1] World Federation of Hemophilia. Achieving Global Impact – Strategic plan: 2021-2025 [Internet; cited May 2022]. Available from: https://wfh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/WFH-Strategic-Plan-2021-2025.pdf.
[2] Poon MC and Lee A. Individualized prophylaxis for optimizing hemophilia care: can we apply this to both developed and developing nations? Thrombosis Journal. 2016; 14:32.
[3] De Kleijn P. et al. Differences between developed and developing countries in paediatric care in haemophilia. Haemophilia. 2012;18:94-100.
[4] Sidharthan N and Sudevan R. Low Dose Prophylaxis in Hemophilia Care. Indian J Hematol Blood Transfus. 2020 Jan;36(1):16-25.
[5] Ghosh K and Ghosh K. Management of haemophilia in developing countries: challenges and options. Indian J Hematol Bloos Transfus. 2016 July-Sept; 32(3):347-355.
[6] World Federation of Hemophilia. Humanitarian Aid Program Impact Report [Internet; cited May 2022]. Available from: https://wfh.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Humanitarian_Aid_2021_Impact_Report.pdf

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