Biogen Idec pledges 1 billion units of clotting factor to developing countries
In response to a call from the World Hemophilia Foundation (WHF), Biogen Idec and its distribution partner, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, have pledged 1 billion units of two hemophilia drugs to be distributed in Africa, Asia, and Latin America starting in 2015.
The drugs are Alprolix (approved in March 2014), for hemophilia B, and Eloctate, which is under FDA review, to treat patients with hemophilia A.
Biogen Idec is just breaking into the market and hopes to gain share for its new product line.
Although hemophilia is rare (1 in 10,000 people), the market is growing, largely because of innovation in treatment. Better treatments for hemophilia A and hemophilia B in the developed world have increased life expectancy for patients, though this is not the case in the developing world where 75% of patients are undertreated. The hemophilia market is dominated by Pfizer and Baxter, with Biogen Idec being a recent entrant. Based on current data, the market is expected to grow from $8.5 billion in 2011 to $11.4 billion in 2016.
Biogen Idec’s strategy to gain recognition for its product line by responding to a WHF request for clotting factor for the developing world may very well work. It will also provide much-needed therapy to the more than 400,000 people around the world with hemophilia.
- Boston Globe Biogen gives hemophilia drugs to help poor nations
- Morningstar: Healthcare Observer, January 2013 The Hemophilia Market: Steep but Surmountable Barriers for New Entrants