What a remarkable year 2020 has been. The COVID-19 global pandemic has re-shaped much of our lives, but I am proud to report that Octapharma has not only risen to every challenge but continued to evolve and grow.
In this year’s report, we speak to some of those patients whose lives are being impacted by our products. The stories of Kerri, Ingrid and young Avery and her mother Carrie remind us of the impact that our products have every day on our patients all around the world. We also explore some of the measures we took in response to the pandemic.
As governments and health authorities acted to slow the spread of the virus, we established an operations task force to monitor and respond to the quickly evolving situation. As a result, we implemented enhanced safety protocols in our offices, production sites and plasma collection centres, so that we could keep our employees and donors safe while continuing to provide life-giving medications to our patients.
Early in the pandemic, we recognised that due to its immune-modulating properties IVIg had the potential to improve treatment outcomes and reduce mortality in severely ill COVID-19 patients. Based on encouraging data obtained from initial studies, we launched a phase III clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of octagam® 10% in COVID-19 patients with severe disease progression. This study was approved by the FDA in May under an IND application and is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
Apart from this important initiative in COVID-19, we also made good progress with several other clinical trials in 2020.
We commenced the PRO-SID (Primary Infection Prophylaxis with panzyga® in Secondary Immunodeficiency in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia) study to systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of IVIg for primary prophylaxis for infection control in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia CLL. In addition, we launched a phase III, multi-centre superiority study to compare the effectiveness of panzyga® 10% versus placebo in patients with pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS).
The FDA also approved updated prescribing information (PI) for Nuwiq®, our human cell line-derived recombinant factor VIII (FVIII). The updated PI includes immunogenicity data from the NuProtect study, the largest prospective study of a single FVIII concentrate in previously untreated patients (PUPs) with haemophilia A.
Since its foundation 38 years ago, Octapharma has grown into a truly global company. In all major countries and regions, we are a significant supplier of our life-saving products and a trusted partner of the national healthcare systems.
We continued to invest in our plasma collection capacities to be able to increase the future supplies of our life-saving products for patients. We now operate more than 160 plasma donation centres across our fleet in Germany and the USA.
Despite the significant challenges posed by the pandemic to all aspects of our business, we managed to achieve revenues of € 2.4 billion, representing a growth of around 8% over 2019. As I look forward to 2021 and beyond, I believe that Octapharma is well placed to continue to grow in the future.
Chairman & CEO, Octapharma Group