Heroes in the Fight: Octapharma To Be Honored for Myositis Research at TMA Annual Patient Conference

Paramus, NJ
Press release
The Myositis Association, Octapharma Celebrating Milestone Anniversaries
Grammy Winner Peter Frampton To Receive Patient Ambassador Award

Octapharma USA will be presented with the Research & Development Award for Outstanding Innovation in Myositis Research during the Heroes in the Fight Awards Celebration at The Myositis Association’s 2023 International Annual Patient Conference to be held September 7 - 10 in San Diego.

“Until Octagam® 10% [Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human)], received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  approval for the treatment of adult dermatomyositis (DM), those who live with myositis had to rely on off-label medications to treat their debilitating symptoms,” said Rhonda Buckley-Bishop, Interim Executive Director, The Myositis Association (TMA). “TMA is grateful to Octapharma for being the first pharmaceutical company to take the chance on a treatment for this rare autoimmune disease of the muscles. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we are pleased to also celebrate Octapharma’s 40 years of developing therapies that improve the lives of those who live with rare diseases.”

During the awards ceremony on September 9th, The Heroes in Research Award will be presented to Rohit Aggarwal, MD, MS, who led Octapharma’s pivotal Progress in DERMatomyositis (ProDERM) study, which demonstrated that Octagam® 10%  is an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment for adults with dermatomyositis. The ProDERM study was featured in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We are honored to be recognized by TMA for Octapharma’s groundbreaking research on dermatomyositis,” said Octapharma USA President Flemming Nielsen. “TMA and Octapharma are celebrating special anniversaries this year, and we congratulate TMA on 30 great years serving the myositis community. Octapharma has been committed to developing life-saving therapies for patients with rare diseases for the last 40 years and we value the opportunity to partner with organizations like TMA who are dedicated to improving patients’ lives.”

Kellie Jo Bell, 61, a patient living with dermatomyositis and now an Octapharma consultant, will participate in a keynote address at the conference. 

“I tell everyone I meet that Octapharma gave me back my life,” said Bell of Lexington, Kentucky. “I have suffered with DM symptoms for about 16 years and was officially diagnosed six years ago when I was really knocking at death’s door. My weight had fallen from about 130 pounds to about 90 pounds and my hair was falling out at that time, but Octagam® 10% has enabled me to return almost completely to the person I was before my life started falling apart.”

Peter Frampton, the Grammy award-winning guitarist who is diagnosed with Inclusion-Body Myositis (IBM), will receive the Patient Ambassador Award and the ALS and Neuromuscular Center at the University of California, Irvine will receive the Heroes in Healthcare Award.

Myositis is a general inflammation or swelling of the muscle. The disease is highly variable and includes dermatomyositis, polymyositis (PM), necrotizing myopathy (NM), sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM), and juvenile forms of myositis (JM).

Dermatomyositis is a rare systemic autoimmune disorder of unknown cause affecting approximately 10 out of every million U.S. residents. Patients commonly suffer from severe rashes, chronic muscle inflammation and progressive muscle weakness, usually affecting adults in their late 40s to early 60s and children between the ages of 5 and 15. Complications include difficulty swallowing, breathing problems from lung scarring, joint pains, and calcium deposits on muscles, skin and connective tissues.

Octapharma is the Premier Sponsor for the conference, which features myositis specialists and expert presenters on everything related to these debilitating diseases. The program includes educational workshops, research-based presentations, breakout sessions for all stages of the myositis journey, a focus on care partners, networking opportunities, and social activities. For more information, please visit myositis.org.

About Octagam® 10%

Octagam® 10% [Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human)] is an immune globulin intravenous (human) liquid preparation indicated for chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in the U.S., European Union and Canada. Octagam® 10% also is indicated for primary immunodeficiency, secondary immunodeficiencies and Guillain Barré syndrome in the EU and Canada, and adult dermatomyositis in the EU and U.S., and for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN), and Kawasaki disease in the EU.



Thrombosis may occur with immune globulin intravenous (IGIV) products, including Octagam® 10%. Risk factors may include: advanced age, prolonged immobilization, hypercoagulable conditions, history of venous or arterial thrombosis, use of estrogens, indwelling vascular catheters, hyperviscosity, and cardiovascular risk factors. Renal dysfunction, acute renal failure, osmotic nephropathy, and death may occur with the administration of immune globulin intravenous (Human) (IGIV) products in predisposed patients. Renal dysfunction and acute renal failure occur more commonly in patients receiving IGIV products containing sucrose. Octagam® 10% does not contain sucrose. For patients at risk of thrombosis, renal dysfunction or renal failure, administer Octagam® 10% at the minimum infusion rate practicable. Ensure adequate hydration in patients before administration. Monitor for signs and symptoms of thrombosis and assess blood viscosity in patients at risk for hyperviscosity.

For full prescribing information, including complete boxed warning, please visit octagamusa.com/gam10pi.

About the Octapharma Group

Headquartered in Lachen, Switzerland, Octapharma is one of the largest human protein manufacturers in the world, developing and producing human proteins from human plasma and human cell lines.

Octapharma employs more than 11,000 people worldwide to support the treatment of patients in 118 countries with products across three therapeutic areas: Hematology, Immunotherapy and Critical Care.

Octapharma has seven R&D sites and five state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Austria, France, Germany and Sweden, and operates more than 190 plasma donation centers across Europe and the US. The company’s American subsidiary, Octapharma USA, is located in Paramus, N.J. For more information, please visit octapharmausa.com.


Diseases & therapies