WESTON, Mass., April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of World Hemophilia Day, Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) has collaborated with hemophilia advocacy groups to illuminate more than 15 prominent landmarks red throughout the United States, including Boston's Zakim Bridge and Prudential Tower, Chicago's Wrigley Building, New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Denver's Coors Field. The lightings will occur during the evening of April 17, and coincide with hemophilia community events in a dozen locations across the country. These activities help raise awareness and honor the strength within the bleeding disorders community.
World Hemophilia Day is recognized each year on April 17. The goal of the day is to increase awareness of hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders, and ultimately help enable appropriate diagnosis and access to care.
The World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) has focused this year's World Hemophilia Day theme on the importance of building a family of support, which comes in many forms.
"In the hemophilia community, many people such as family members, friends, doctors, nurses, social workers and physical therapists can make up one's network of support and care," said Sally McAlister, director, Hemophilia Portfolio, U.S. Medical at Biogen. "World Hemophilia Day provides an important opportunity for us to recognize the significant amount of support and advocacy that occurs through this extended network."
Hemophilia is a rare, genetic disorder affecting approximately 20,000 people in the United States, and more than 400,000 individuals globally. It can cause people to bleed longer than normal. Without adequate treatment, uncontrolled bleeding can occur into the joints, which may lead to long-term complications.
"We are committed to helping people with hemophilia lead fulfilling lives through education, support and advocacy," said Kevin Sorge, executive director, New England Hemophilia Association. "World Hemophilia Day is a meaningful time to honor the strength and spirit of our community."
To raise hemophilia awareness, the following landmarks will be illuminated red: Zakim Bridge, Prudential Tower and South Station in Boston; Wells Fargo's Duke Energy Center in Charlotte; Wrigley Building in Chicago; Terminal Tower in Cleveland; Coors Field in Denver; Miami Tower; Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Hotel Modern in New Orleans; Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh; Old Town Sacramento Historic Buildings (What Cheer House, Howard House and Ebner/Empire Building), as well as the Tunnel Walk in Sacramento; and the Saint Louis Science Center's James S. McDonnell Planetarium.
Throughout the year, Biogen works closely with hemophilia chapter organizations and national associations to support initiatives designed to help make a difference for people affected by hemophilia. For instance, the American Thrombosis & Hemostasis Network, Bloodworks Northwest (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center), the National Hemophilia Foundation and Biogen founded My Life, Our Future, a program that offers free genetic testing to individuals with hemophilia A and B in the United States. Additionally, Biogen offers a range of scholarships to people with hemophilia A and B pursuing various levels of higher learning, including undergraduate, graduate and vocational studies. The company continues to build on its commitment to individuals affected by hemophilia, responding to the community's input and unique needs.
To learn more about hemophilia and how you can support the global community, go to www.wfh.org. For more information about Biogen's World Hemophilia Day activities, please visit https://www.facebook.com/BiogenHemophiliaCoRes and https://twitter.com/BiogenHemCoRes.
About Hemophilia A and B
Hemophilia is a rare, genetic disorder in which the ability of a person's blood to clot is impaired. Hemophilia A occurs in about one in 5,000 male births annually, and more rarely in females, affecting about 16,000 people in the United States. Hemophilia B occurs in about one in 25,000 male births annually, and more rarely in females, affecting about 4,000 people in the United States. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 400,000 people are living with hemophilia.
Hemophilia A is caused by having substantially reduced or no factor VIII activity, while hemophilia B is caused by having substantially reduced or no factor IX activity; factor VIII and factor IX are needed for normal blood clotting. People with hemophilia A or B experience prolonged bleeding episodes that can cause pain, irreversible joint damage and life-threatening hemorrhages. Prophylactic infusions of factor VIII or IX can temporarily replace the missing clotting factors that are needed to control bleeding and prevent new bleeding episodes. The Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the National Hemophilia Foundation recommends prophylaxis as the optimal therapy for people with severe hemophilia A or B.
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen is one of the world's oldest independent biotechnology companies and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative hemophilia therapies. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit www.biogen.com.