HOBOKEN, N.J. and FRISCO, Texas, July 21 /PRNewswire/ — Octapharma USA, the largest privately owned, plasma fractionation company in the world, and ASD Healthcare, a part of AmerisourceBergen Corp., one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical services companies, will jointly serve as the national title sponsors of the 2008 A-T Cure Tour. The national series of marathons and races benefits the A-T Children’s Project, a non-profit organization focused on finding a cure or life-improving therapies for children with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), a rare genetic disease that is frequently fatal by adolescence.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080721/NEM027 )
“Octapharma USA has served as the national title sponsor of the A-T Cure for two years because we have been so awestruck by the spirit and bravery of the children afflicted with this devastating disease,” said Octapharma USA President Flemming Nielsen. “The children and their families have touched the hearts of everyone at Octapharma USA. Additionally, this cause was a very natural one for Octapharma USA because it reminds us of the connection that our core business has with people in need.”
Octapharma is responsible for the development, production and sale of high quality, virus safe plasma derivatives, including intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG. Octapharma’s IVIG product, octagam(R), is used to treat the immunodeficiencies common in many children with A-T.
“ASD Healthcare and Octapharma USA have become strong business partners, so we were thrilled at the opportunity to work together as the national title sponsors of the 2008 A-T Cure Tour,” said ASD Healthcare President Neil Herson. “A-T is a disease that combines the worst symptoms of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, cancer and immune deficiencies. ASD Healthcare and our staff across the country are committed to making a difference in the lives of children who have this fatal disease.”
A-T causes progressive loss of muscle control, immune system problems and a strikingly high rate of cancer, especially leukemia and lymphoma. Children with A-T appear normal at birth with the first signs of the disease – lack of balance and slurred speech – generally appearing during the second year of life. Those with the illness are usually confined to wheelchairs by age 10 and often do not survive their teens.
A-T symptoms impact many different systems in the body and scientists believe that A-T research will help more prevalent diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, AIDS and cancer. Epidemiologists estimate the frequency of A-T at 1 in 40,000 births, but it is believed that many children with A-T, particularly those who die at a young age, are never properly diagnosed; therefore, frequency may be much greater.
“The A-T Children’s Project and all of its families and friends have been amazed by the large number of Octapharma and ASD Healthcare employees who have been encouraged by their management to help us succeed in our efforts,” said Brad Margus, Volunteer President and Founder of the A-T Children’s Project. “We are thrilled to have Octapharma and ASD Healthcare as our partners in our search for a cure.”
The A-T Children’s Project raises funds to support and coordinate biomedical research projects, scientific workshops and a clinical center aimed at finding a cure or life-improving therapies. The 2008 A-T Cure Tour features 13 marathons and races held throughout the country in communities where children with A-T live. Participants in the events donate or gain sponsorships totaling no less than $600. For more information on the races or to register, visit http://www.atcp.org/ or call 800-543-5728.
ASD Healthcare, a business unit of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, is a leading provider of IVIG, blood plasma products, influenza vaccine, oncolytics and other specialty pharmaceutical products critical to patient care. More than 3,800 health-system pharmacies and alternate-site practitioners throughout the country rely on ASD Healthcare for guaranteed product integrity, fair pricing and around-the-clock service. For more information, please visit http://www.asdhealthcare.com/ or call 800-746-6273.
AmerisourceBergen is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical services companies serving the United States, Canada and selected global markets. Servicing both pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare providers in the pharmaceutical supply channel, the Company provides drug distribution and related services designed to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. AmerisourceBergen’s service solutions range from pharmacy automation and pharmaceutical packaging to reimbursement and pharmaceutical consulting services. With more than $66 billion in annual revenue, AmerisourceBergen is headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and employs approximately 11,200 people. AmerisourceBergen is ranked #28 on the Fortune 500 list. For more information, go to http://www.amerisourcebergen.com/.
Octapharma is the largest privately owned plasma fractionation company in the world. Its core business is the development, production and sale of high quality, virus safe plasma derivatives, including intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). From its foundation in 1983, the Swiss-based company has grown to employ over 2000 people in 27 countries, including the United States, where Octapharma USA is headquartered in Hoboken, N.J. Octapharma owns four modern, state-of-the-art production facilities in Vienna, Austria; Strasbourg, France; Stockholm, Sweden; and Mexico City, Mexico; and also operates a fifth fractionation facility in Springe, Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.octapharma.com/ or call 201-604-1130.
Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080721/NEM027AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/PRN Photo Desk, [email protected]
CONTACT: Fred Feiner, Yankee Public Relations, [email protected],+1-908-894-3930, for Octapharma USA
Web site: http://www.octapharma.com/http://www.asdhealthcare.com/http://www.amerisourcebergen.com/