RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Grifols, a global healthcare company based in Barcelona, Spain, is commemorating the 25th anniversary year of Prolastin® (alpha1-proteinase inhibitor [human]) and the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) with a series of events and programs around the world aimed at raising awareness and advancing research into the treatment of Alpha-1. This rare condition causes genetic emphysema due to low circulating levels of the alpha-1 antitrypsin protein.
Prolastin was launched in the U.S. in February 1988 as the first FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of Alpha-1 by augmenting patients' levels of the alpha-1 antitrypsin protein. Twenty-five years later, the Prolastin brand of products remains the global market leader for the treatment of this debilitating lung disease, first identified by Swedish researchers Carl-Bertil Laurell and Sten Eriksson in 1963.
"For nearly 17 years, Prolastin was the only product available to patients with Alpha-1," said Robert (Sandy) Sandhaus, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Program at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO. "Since the beginning, the makers of Prolastin have been remarkable partners with the patient community in helping to improve their health, educate patients about a little-known disease, and support scientific research to find better ways to detect and treat the disease."
"The level of patient support from the manufacturer of Prolastin helped many people change their lives," Sandhaus added.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Prolastin and the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the disease, Grifols is sponsoring a series of events, including the International Alpha-1 Patient Congress in Barcelona and a National Education Conference in Washington, D.C. These events will promote dialogue and collaboration among patients, scientists, and healthcare providers. The goal is to increase diagnosis and promote research into a rare disease that remains vastly under-diagnosed, with an estimated five percent of affected individuals having been properly identified.