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New drug therapy for hemophilia passes test goal

Category: Coagulation and blood clotting disorders

The pharmaceutical company Biogen Idec, Inc. has reached the final stages of developing a treatment for individuals who have received unfortunate results from a blood test for hemophilia. Its inventors plan to submit the drug for Food and Drug Administration approval in 2013.

Approximately 400 new infants are diagnosed with hemophilia, a genetic blood disorder that disables the blood's ability to clot the right way, every year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The results of [this] study offer the potential for longer-lasting protection from bleeding for patients with hemophilia B," said Glenn Pierce, Biogen chief medical officer for hemophilia. "Currently, prophylactic treatment of hemophilia B requires intravenous injections up to three times a week, which makes the prospect of a longer-lasting Factor IX therapy very exciting."

The study, which the organization refers to as the B-LONG study, consisted of 123 boys over the age of 12 who had previously confirmed their hemophilia with a blood test. The company says one injection of their treatment controlled more than 90 percent of the bleeding episodes in their trial.

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