The very first donated emicizumab product was given to two patients in Zambia this past spring. The donation is the first of its kind from Roche, who has generously committed to donating enough emicizumab to treat 1,000 patients over five years.
The treatment for the patients—an adult and a child—started in March, 2020. It was the culmination of a collaboration between the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Humanitarian Aid Program and the Zambian national member organization (NMO), the Haemophilia Foundation of Zambia (HFZ). The WFH worked with Charity Pikiti, the president of the HFZ, in order to make the treatment possible.
The availability of this novel treatment marks the first time that patients in Zambia will gain free access to subcutaneous prophylaxis. Two patients with a high frequency of recurrent bleeding in their joints were chosen for treatment. The treatment was performed at the University Teaching Hospitals-Children’s Hospital in in Lusaka, Zambia, by Uzima Chirwa, MD, the principal treater. The patients initially received the loading dose for four weeks to start the treatment, which was successful, and they have now moved to a maintenance dose.