Global Initiatives Underscore Company’s Long-term Commitment to the Rare Disease Community
Lexington, Massachusetts, USA 28th February /PRNewswire/ — Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, today announced its support of World Rare Disease Day, joining patients, healthcare providers, and patient organizations around the world to support a day that focuses attention on rare diseases as a public health issue, and highlights the need for more understanding and awareness about these diseases.
Observed annually on the last day of February, World Rare Disease Day is coordinated at the international level by the European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS) and the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) in the US. The aim is to draw attention to the gaps in healthcare that exist for rare disease patients worldwide, and work to find global solutions.
It is estimated that there are between 5,000 and 8,000 known rare diseases affecting around 250 million people in the world. As a leader in the orphan disease space for over twenty years, Shire has focused its work on researching, developing and marketing therapies for Fabry disease, Hereditary Angioedema (HAE), Hunter syndrome, and Gaucher disease, as well as building and investing in a pipeline of innovative products and solutions to treat rare diseases.
“For many patients and their families, the journey to a diagnosis and subsequent treatment for a rare disease can be a long, complicated process,” said Sylvie Grégoire, President of Shire 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. We are proud to support World Rare Disease Day and hope that this day can highlight the amazing people who encompass the rare disease community, and their unique and important situation as a global public health concern.”
Shire’s Global World Rare Disease Day Initiatives
In conjunction with World Rare Disease Day 2011, Shire is extending and updating 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 country-specific sites to follow. Please visit www.bravecommunity.com to sign up to request information about specific rare genetic diseases.
As part of its external initiatives, Shire is also supporting the Global Genes Project “Wear That You CareTM” campaign, a grassroots effort to use denim jeans to raise global awareness of rare genetic disorders. The Company plans to hand out over 5000 denim blue ribbons to employees at various corporate locations worldwide.
In Switzerland, Shire will provide sponsorship support to the first ‘STOP RARE’ disease awareness event in Lausanne, as well as the Symposium “Wissen Heilt!” held in Basel on February 26th.
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.
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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.