Global initiatives, including an expanded online resource center, underscore Company’s long-term commitment to the rare disease community
Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, today announced it will actively support Rare Disease Day across the world by generating media coverage in many countries to raise awareness and understanding of rare diseases.
Observed annually on the last day of February, Rare Disease Day seeks to call attention to rare diseases as a public health issue, and to reinforce the increased need for access to information, research and treatment. It is coordinated at the international level by European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS) and by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) in the US.
It is estimated that there are between 5,000 and 8,000 known rare diseases affecting 250 million people in the world. Shire has commercially approved and available treatments for Fabry disease, Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) and Hunter syndrome. In addition, Shire expects the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to issue its decision for VPRIVTM (velaglucerase alfa for injection), Shire’s investigational enzyme replacement treatment for Type 1 Gaucher disease, by February 28.
"For many patients and their families, the journey to a diagnosis and subsequent treatment can be a long, complicated process,” said Sylvie Grégoire, President of Shire Human Genetic Therapies (HGT). “Shire is committed to enabling people with life-altering conditions to lead better lives – and for us, this includes improving access to information as well as providing much-needed treatment for rare diseases.”
Shire’s Global Rare Disease Day Initiatives
In conjunction with Rare Disease Day 2010, Shire is extending BraveCommunity.com, its online resource center that aims to connect patients with each other and to provide important information about rare diseases. First launched in the U.S. in early 2009, the site is now available to UK audiences, with additional sites to follow for France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, Mexico and Brazil soon thereafter. Please visit http://www.bravecommunity.com/ to sign up to request information about specific rare genetic diseases.
Shire is also supporting the Global Genes Project, a grassroots effort to use denim jeans to raise global awareness of rare genetic disorders. In Mexico, Shire will encourage attendees at COLATEL 2010, the Company’s 3rd Annual Latin American Congress of Lysosomal Storage Diseases, to wear denim jeans throughout the duration of the event.
In Washington, D.C., Shire is supporting its non-profit partners as they visit Capitol Hill to advocate for patients with rare diseases.
In Spain, Shire is co-sponsoring with FEDER (Spanish Federation for Rare Diseases) the Annual Running Race for Rare Disease Day in Madrid with an estimated participation of 2.000 people.
In Brazil, Shire is organizing a special walk on February 28th to raise awareness of rare diseases in the country. It is expected that more than 20 patient organizations and their members will participate; and awareness seminars, as well as other fun activities, will be held.
For further information please contact:
Jessica Mann (Rest of the World) +44 1256 894 280
Jessica Cotrone (North America, HGT) +1 617 613 4640
Notes to editors
Shire’s strategic goal is to become the leading specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Shire focuses its business on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), human genetic therapies (HGT) and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases as well as opportunities in other therapeutic areas to the extent they arise through acquisitions. Shire’s in-licensing, merger and acquisition efforts are focused on products in specialist markets with strong intellectual property protection and global rights. Shire believes that a carefully selected and balanced portfolio of products with strategically aligned and relatively small-scale sales forces will deliver strong results.
For further information on Shire, please visit the Company’s website: www.shire.com.
"SAFE HARBOR" STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
Statements included herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time. In the event such risks or uncertainties materialize, the Company’s results could be materially adversely affected. The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with: the inherent uncertainty of research, development, approval, reimbursement, manufacturing and commercialization of the Company’s Specialty Pharmaceutical and Human Genetic Therapies products, as well as the ability to secure and integrate new products for commercialization and/or development; government regulation of the Company’s products; the Company’s ability to manufacture its products in sufficient quantities to meet demand; the impact of competitive therapies on the Company’s products; the Company’s ability to register, maintain and enforce patents and other intellectual property rights relating to its products; the Company’s ability to obtain and maintain government and other third-party reimbursement for its products; and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.