Shire launches #PIPostsThanks Social Campaign to raise awareness of Primary Immunodeficiency (PI)

Shire launches #PIPostsThanks Social Campaign to raise awareness of Primary Immunodeficiency (PI)

April 24, 2017

Shire launches campaign to raise global awareness during World PI Week

Zug, Switzerland – April 24, 2017 – Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), the global leader in rare diseases, is launching #PIPostsThanks, a social campaign to spotlight the unsung heroes who make a difference in the lives of people living with primary immunodeficiency (PI). PI is a group of nearly 300 rare disorders in which part of the body’s immune system is missing or does not function properly, in many cases making it more difficult to fight infections.1,2 The #PIPostsThanks campaign kicks off April 22-29, 2017, during the seventh annual World PI Week, to bring the PI community together to share personal journeys and highlight the efforts of those who help ease the burden of living with PI. Often people with PI are sick on and off for more than a decade.3,4 Once recognized, many of these rare disorders are treatable and in some cases curable.4

“As a leader in developing innovative treatments and support services for PI patients, Shire values the opportunity to serve this community,” said Kasha Witkos, Global Head of Immunology, Shire. “Through awareness campaigns such as #PIPostsThanks, we hope to raise awareness of this devastating disorder and offer our own thanks and ongoing commitment to innovating on behalf of PI patients around the world. We are determined to make a meaningful difference for patients with PI.”

Throughout World PI Week, Shire welcomes supporters from around the world to share Thank You notes, videos, photos and more using the #PIPostsThanks hashtag. Shire is giving its thanks to the PI community through MyIgSource (intended for U.S. audiences) and Rare2Aware (intended for audiences outside of the U.S.) social channels in continuing to drive dialogue with patients around the globe. For more information, visit:

It is estimated that as many as six million children and adults may be affected by PI worldwide and 70-90 percent of PI cases worldwide are undiagnosed.5,6 According to a 2007 U.S. survey from the Immune Deficiency Foundation, it takes 12.4 years on average from symptom onset to a PI diagnosis.3

“During World PI Week 2017 the PI community will raise its voices and take action to improve access to life-saving immunoglobulin therapies for patients,” said Johan Prevot, IPOPI Executive Director. “In order for patients to be diagnosed earlier and access appropriate treatments, it is of utmost importance to raise awareness about PI. Together, patients, their family and friends, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders from the community can make a difference in the lives of PI patients. We join Shire and the PI community in celebrating World PI Week and giving PI patients the voice they deserve.”

Shire is a proud partner of the official World PI Week campaign—a partnership of clinical societies, patient organizations and research foundations from around the world, aiming to raise awareness and improve diagnosis and treatment for PI.

About World PI Week
World PI Week offers an opportunity to inform and educate medical professionals, researchers, health policy-makers, schools, families and the general public about PI. Through events and activities promoting disease awareness of PI, the global PI community is making positive changes around the world in support of people living with PI. For more information, please visit

About Primary Immunodeficiency
Primary immunodeficiencies (PI) are a group of nearly 300 disorders in which part of the body's immune system is missing or does not function properly.1 Normally, the immune system protects the body from pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi, which can cause infectious diseases. When any part of a person's immune system is absent or dysfunctional, the individuals are often susceptible to infections, and it may take longer to recover. When a defect in the immune system is inherited and genetically determined, it is called primary immune deficiency.2


  1. Blaese RM, Bonilla FA, Stiehm ER, Younger ME, eds. Patient & Family Handbook for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. 5th ed. Towson, MD: Immune Deficiency Foundation; 2013.
  2. Bousfiha A, Jeddane I, Al-Herz W, et al. The 2015 IUIS phenotypic classification for primary immunodeficiencies. J Clin Immunol. 2015; 35(8): 727-738.
  3. Immune Deficiency Foundation. Primary immune deficiency diseases in America: 2007. The third national survey of patients. Published May 2009.
  4. Chapel et al, Primary Immunodeficiencies – Principles of Care, Frontiers of Immunology, 2014 December 15. Doi: 103389/fimmu.2014.00627
  5. Bousfiha AA et al. Primary immunodeficiency diseases worldwide: more common than generally thought. J Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;33(1):1-7.
  6. World PI Week, “World Primary immunodeficiency Week: Let’s talk about PI!” PI Week Official PR 2011.pdf. Accessed April 18, 2016.

For further information please contact:

Investor Relations  
Ian Karp[email protected]+1 781 482 9018
Robert Coates[email protected]+44 1256 894874
Molly Poarch[email protected]+1 312 965 3413


About Shire

Shire is the leading global biotechnology company focused on serving people with rare diseases and other highly specialized conditions. We strive to develop best-in-class products, many of which are available in more than 100 countries, across core therapeutic areas including Hematology, Immunology, Neuroscience, Ophthalmics, Lysosomal Storage Disorders, Gastrointestinal / Internal Medicine / Endocrine and Hereditary Angioedema; and a growing franchise in Oncology.

Our employees come to work every day with a shared mission: to develop and deliver breakthrough therapies for the hundreds of millions of people in the world affected by rare diseases and other high-need conditions, and who lack effective therapies to live their lives to the fullest.