LEXINGTON, Mass., May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, today announced its support of the first global hereditary angioedema (HAE) awareness day, being held on May 16th, with a new Facebook page "Shire Supports HAE Awareness Day." Developed to help raise awareness of HAE, for every person who likes the Facebook page by May 16th, Shire will donate $1 to the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA) up to $7,500. Visitors can learn more about HAE or share comments by clicking on the page's "Join the Discussion!" tab where new facts about this rare condition are posted each day.
"Shire is dedicated to enabling people with life-altering conditions like HAE to lead better lives. This means not only providing much needed treatments for rare diseases, but also supporting awareness and education initiatives like HAE Awareness Day," said Hugh Cole, Global HAE Franchise Lead, Shire HGT. "I want to thank the 1,600 people who have already liked our Facebook page, and I encourage more people to visit the site and join in our effort. Liking the page is a fast and effective way to lend your support to HAE Awareness Day and the U.S. HAEA."
HAE Awareness Day was initiated by the HAEi, the International Patient Organization for C1 Inhibitor Deficiency, along with support from its National Member Organizations including the U.S. HAEA. It is a global initiative to raise awareness of HAE among the general public and medical community with the aim of providing patients with better care, earlier and more accurate diagnosis.
"This first annual global HAE awareness day will put a spotlight on HAE's impact on patients and their families," said Janet Long, Executive Vice President of the U.S. HAEA. "There remains a pressing need to broaden awareness of HAE so that people who suffer from recurring bouts of swelling are provided with a timely and accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. We are grateful for Shire's contribution which will support our longstanding commitment to education and personalized services for HAE patients across the United States."
Founded and staffed by HAE patients and caregivers, the U.S. HAEA is a 4500 member, non-profit patient advocacy organization dedicated to serving persons with hereditary swelling conditions caused by C1 Inhibitor Deficiency and other undetermined causes. The US HAEA's fundamental goal is to improve the lives of HAE patients and their families by providing a support network and a wide range of services including: individualized patient support, physician referrals, authoritative and readily accessible disease-related information, and clinical research aimed at finding a cure.
HAE is a rare genetic disease caused by low levels or a dysfunction of C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH). Reduced C1-INH activity can lead to elevated plasma levels of bradykinin, which is thought to be responsible for HAE symptoms.
HAE is characterized by recurrent sudden attacks of edema (swelling) of the skin (hands, arms, feet, legs, thighs, face, and genitals) or the mucous membranes (gastrointestinal tract, larynx or voice box). The swelling can be disfiguring and painful, especially in case of abdominal attacks. Laryngeal attacks are potentially life-threatening due to the risk of suffocation. Unlike angioedema caused by allergic reactions, signs and symptoms such as hives and itching do not occur in HAE. Signs and symptoms of HAE do not respond to standard treatments for allergic angioedema such as epinephrine, corticosteroids, and antihistamines.
Notes to editors
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.
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