LEXINGTON, Mass. & OSAKA, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Up to one in every 100 Americans is affected by von Willebrand disease1 (VWD) – but how many have heard of this condition? A new series of public service announcements, featuring actress Alex Borstein, aims to educate the public about the symptoms of this inherited bleeding disorder and encourages those who think they may be affected to talk with their healthcare professional. The Public Service Announcement (PSA) series, launched during the National Hemophilia Foundation’s (NHF) Virtual Bleeding Disorders Conference (August 1-8, 2020), was produced by Takeda (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) in partnership with the NHF, and will be running nationwide for the next six months.
Alex Borstein — star of the hit series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — has first hand experience caring for those with bleeding disorders. Her brother and uncle live with hemophilia A, her daughter has mild hemophilia, and Alex herself is a carrier of the disease. Knowing just how devastating an inherited bleeding disorder can be, Alex has taken it upon herself to find ways to support the bleeding disorder community and offer encouragement and advocacy where she can as a spokesperson for the NHF. She is particularly excited to personally participate in the launch of the PSA series in tandem with this year’s annual NHF conference.
"Taking an active role in the bleeding disorder community isn't a choice for me; it's a responsibility," said Borstein. "Von Willebrand disease affects millions of Americans but is often overlooked, even by some healthcare professionals. I am here to encourage others to advocate for themselves, their families and their loved ones - if they suspect they may have a bleeding disorder, speak up and ask their doctor to be tested."
People living with VWD lack proper quantities or quality of a clotting protein in the blood called von Willebrand factor, and they may or may not have a secondary factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency.1,2 They can experience frequent nosebleeds, easy bruising, heavy/long menstrual bleeding and excessive bleeding during and after invasive procedures, such as tooth extractions and other surgeries.1 To be diagnosed, the NHF recommends visiting a hemophilia treatment center (HTC).3 There, a hematologist will perform various tests to evaluate clotting capability, platelet function and factor protein levels.3 If you are diagnosed with VWD, work closely with your healthcare team to establish a management plan that works for you and allows you to manage your condition.3
“While von Willebrand disease can cause serious health issues for patients, it can be managed if properly and promptly diagnosed. Unfortunately, diagnosis is where we’re seeing the biggest disconnect,” said Dr. Leonard Valentino, President and Chief Executive Officer of NHF. “We’re so grateful that Alex is willing to share her time and platform to help raise awareness of this disease and encourage those who think they may have a bleeding disorder to talk to their doctor about getting tested.”
“Takeda is proud to partner with NHF to help raise awareness around VWD. There’s a saying: ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’ It is through the courage of advocates like Alex Borstein coming forward and sharing their stories, that others who may be experiencing similar issues feel empowered to take their health concerns into their own hands and proactively talk with their healthcare team about a possible diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan,” said Joanna Stevens, Vice President and US Hematology Franchise Head at Takeda. “It is critically important for patients and their caregivers to educate themselves about bleeding disorders, such as VWD, so that they feel prepared to ask questions and work with their healthcare team to develop a treatment plan that works for them.”
Following the launch of the PSA campaign on August 7, 2020, additional education and resources will be available on ThinkVWD.com.
About von Willebrand disease (VWD)
VWD is the most common inherited bleeding disorder, affecting up to one percent of the U.S. population.1 VWD is caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of von Willebrand factor (VWF), one of several types of proteins in the blood that are needed to facilitate proper blood clotting.1 Due to this defect or deficiency in VWF, blood is not able to clot effectively in people with VWD, which may result in heavy menstrual periods, easy bruising or frequent nose bleeds.1 Bleeding caused by VWD varies greatly among patients with this disease.4
About National Hemophilia Foundation
The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) is dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for inheritable bleeding disorders and to preventing the complications of these disorders through education, advocacy and research. Established in 1948, the National Hemophilia Foundation has chapters throughout the country. Its programs and initiatives are made possible through the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations as well as through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About Takeda Hematology
Takeda is a leader in hemophilia with the longest heritage and a market-leading portfolio, backed by established safety and efficacy profiles with decades of real-world experience. We have 70+ years of experience driving innovation for patients and a broad portfolio of 11 products across multiple bleeding disorders. Our experience as leaders in hematology means we are well prepared to meet today’s needs as we pursue future developments in the treatment of bleeding disorders. Together with the hematology community, we are committed to raising expectations for the future, including earlier diagnosis, earlier and better protection against bleeds, and more personalized patient care.
About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE:4502/NYSE:TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people's lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries.
- National Hemophilia Foundation. "Von Willebrand Disease." National Hemophilia Foundation website. https://www.hemophilia.org/Bleeding-Disorders/Types-of-Bleeding-Disorders/Von-Willebrand-Disease. Last accessed January 2020.
- Favaloro E. "Towards personalised therapy for von Willebrand disease: a future role for recombinant products." Blood Transfusion. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918558/. Last accessed January 2020.
- National Hemophilia Foundation. 2014. Introduction to von Willebrand Disease [Brochure]. Retrieved from https://www.hemophilia.org/sites/default/files/basic-page/documents/Introduction-to-von-Willibrand-Disease-Brochure-2014.pdf. Last accessed January 2020.
- National Hemophilia Foundation. "VWD Summit Highlights." HEMAWARE website. https://hemaware.org/story/vwd-summit-highights. Last accessed January 2020.
- Takeda. “Rare Diseases.” Takeda Website. https://www.takeda.com/what-we-do/areas-of-focus/rare-diseases/. Last accessed January 2020.
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