UK patients with haemophilia A can now access a new, longer-acting treatment to keep bleeds under control, following the launch of Sobi and Biogen’s Elocta across the country.
Elocta [rFVIIIFc] is the first haemophilia A treatment approved in Europe that offers prolonged protection against bleeding episodes through prophylactic injections every three to five days instead of every other day, as is necessary with conventional therapies.
The drug, a fully recombinant fusion protein produced from a human cell line without the addition of human- or animal-derived protein, can be used in the UK for both prophylaxis and on-demand treatment of bleeding in patients with the condition, which is also known as factor VIII deficiency.
“The UK Haemophilia market is an extremely well controlled tender market and Elocta will become widely available soon through a framework agreement issued by the Commercial Medicines Unit,” Neil Dugdale, Sobi’s General Manager, UK and RoI, told PharmaTimes Digital.
With regard to its cost, he said: “We will not comment on pricing other than to state that we are determined to enable sustainable access for people with Haemophilia A to Elocta while taking healthcare budgets into respect”.
Haemophilia A is a rare, chronic, genetic disorder in which the ability of a person’s blood to clot is impaired due to missing or reduced levels of a protein known as factor VIII. People with haemophilia A experience bleeding episodes that may cause pain, irreversible joint damage and life-threatening haemorrhages.
Around 5,000 people have haemophilia A in the UK. “A recent survey of our members highlighted fewer joint problems, less pain and fewer bleeds as the top three factors people with haemophilia feel would improve their quality of life”, said Liz Carroll, chief executive of The UK Haemophilia Society, adding that she hopes availability of the treatment will help to make the disease a smaller part of some family lives.