Short-acting to extended half-life, Ireland signs exclusive haemophilia deal

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Gettymages/Shidlovski
Gettymages/Shidlovski

Related tags: Contract, Republic of ireland

The Republic of Ireland will move its population from short-acting to extended half-life haemophilia therapies, under an exclusive two-year deal with Sobi.

Under the agreement, the Sweden-headquartered firm will supply the Republic of Ireland’s Health Services Executive (HSE) with haemophilia A treatment Elocta (efmoroctocog alfa).

The deal follows an earlier contract agreement for the supply of Alprolix (eftrenonacog alfa) – indicated to treat haemophilia B.

“With both of these two-year contracts, the Republic of Ireland becomes the first country in Europe to switch an entire population undergoing treatment from conventional short-acting therapies to extended half-life therapies for haemophilia A and B,” ​said the firm in a statement.

Half-life tech

Sobi’s treatments for the rare, genetic disorder – which impairs blood’s ability to clot – are used using a human cell line, said spokesperson Linda Holmstrom.

“They are engineered by fusing factor IX to the Fc portion of immunoglobulin G subclass 1, or IgG1 – a protein commonly found in the body,”​ Holmstrom told us.

The enables the therapies to use a “naturally occurring pathway to extend the time the therapy remains in the body – half life,” ​she added.

Manufacturing

Sobi’s head of haemophilia Philip Wood said the company’s “robust supply”​ played an important role in winning the contract.

The spokesperson told us both drug products are made by contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) in Europe.

“During 2017 we got an approval by the EMA [European Medicines Agency] for higher capacity for the manufacturing of the drug substance, which is made in the US by a CMO.

“We have a long-term commitment to supply these products to the Republic of Ireland and to all markets in the Sobi territory,” ​she told us.

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