ADVATE

Introducing Baxalta!

When does a company change its name, especially when it’s got a good thing going on? 

We’ve seen change in our bleeding disorder community when one company buys another—called an acquisition. Some of the factor manufacturers have been acquired through the years, sometimes with a name change: can you think of any? Specialty pharmacies have seen a fast and furious amount of consolidation: your speciality pharmacy may have been one of them. It’s been going on for over 10 years now. So fast and often, you may have missed a few!
But when the biggest factor manufacturer changes its name, that’s worthy of a blog. And it’s not from aquisition—it hasn’t been bought. Baxter Healthcare International, as part of its strategic planning, has now become two separate companies. The company has long been a leader in hospital supplies—like dialysis equipment, IV pumps and solutions, and biologics—like factor. Baxter’s BioSciences division is where its factor products are made.
So Baxter has spun off the BioSciences division, which is now a completely separate company. Headquarters will remain in the Chicago area, but its R&D division will move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 30 minutes from my house, in fact! Cambridge is the center of the biotech universe. 
The new company is called Baxalta, a combination of the familiar name Baxter and “alta” which in Latin means “high” or “above.”
As a consumer, you’ll see eventually new packaging and a new name. But I think most of the people you know at Baxalta, like your local rep, will stay the same for now. 
Please check out the new website, and get to know Baxalta!

This post and images are sponsored by Baxalta 

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Great Book I Just Read

Dr. Mutter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine [Kindle]

by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

An intriguing, ethical, compassionate physician and brilliant surgeon, who introduced plastic surgery to the US from Paris, Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter seemed destined to make history. Orphaned at an early age, impoverished, he nonetheless rose the ranks in the difficult and often snobbish Philadelphia medical community, becoming beloved by students and patients for his expertise as well as compassionate treatment of patients. At a time when the best surgeon was often the fastest (there was no anesthesia for a long time!), Mutter was highly regarded, especially for treating cases of “monsters,” those people scarred by horrific accidents, or having deformities. He dedicated his life especially to those deformed by disease, birth or accident, and his contributions are now in the macabre but utterly fascinating Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. I’ve been there and was amazed! It’s a legacy for a man who is admirable for his contributions, dedication and ethical manners. I couldn’t put this book down! Five/five stars.

Happy New Year With Prophy News

All is quiet on New Year’s Day here, with the warmest winter in history in the Northeast. My grass needs to be cut!

Here’s some good news to start the year off…. Baxter’s Advate has been FDA-approved for routine prophylaxis in both children and adults, the only factor product to be so licensed.

In a Phase IV prophylaxis study, funded by Baxter, researchers, led by Dr. Len Valentino of RUSH University, found that prophy on Advate reduced bleeding episodes from 44 to only 1 in a year: great news and findings.

From its press release, Baxter reports that “for the prophylaxis regimen to prevent or reduce frequency of bleeding episodes, Advate dosing of three to four times weekly (between 20 to 40 international units of factor VIII per kg body weight every other day) may be used. Alternatively, an every third day dosing regimen targeted to maintain FVIII through levels greater than or equal to one percent may be employed.”

Of course, most parents and patients know that prophy with many products has been around for a long time. But it’s important for the prescribing doctor to feel comfortable prescribing a product with FDA approval. It takes a long time and money to investigate these products and their treatments, so it’s a cause for celebration when a Phase IV study is complete.

And so is New Year! Wishing you all a great year!

Great Book I Just Read
Lucky Ears: The True Story of Ben Kuroki, World War II Hero

Written for young readers, you can easily polish this book off in 30 minutes, but the images will stay with you a lifetime. Ben Kuroki was born a Nebraska native, of Japanese descent, and suffered through challenges like the horrible Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and poverty. But he was deemed “lucky” by his parents for the little dimples he had on his ears. He never experienced racism until he enlisted in WWII following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He had no sympathy for the country of his ancestors yet was suddenly treated as inferior. He finally was allowed to enlist, and became one of the most famous bombardiers in US history! He had more bombing runs than almost any one else, so great was his love for the US. Despite the racism, he became a US hero, and was honored by President George W. Bush. He escaped many close encounters with death, and you close the book marveling indeed at his luck, and his wonderful career and patriotism. Five/five stars!

And this makes 35 books I read this year, achieving my goal!

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