Chiesi Global Rare Diseases Business Unit
Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A.
Giacomo Chiesi, Head of Global Rare Disease
Formed in February 2020, the Chiesi Rare Diseases business unit established global headquarters in Boston and ever since has moved with the sense of urgency that patients with rare diseases deserve. Giacomo Chiesi (the former Head of Global Corporate Development at Chiesi) opened the office with himself, a group of talented and experienced senior leaders, and a few other key employees. Over the course of nine months, this new business unit has achieved a number of accomplishments.
Starting in January, before the group officially formed, Chiesi acquired the worldwide rights to Ferriprox from its purchase of ApoPharma. Then, from February through May, Giacomo built out a highly experienced team numbering roughly 200 people across marketing, medical/clinical, research and development, and managed care in the U.S., Canada, and Europe across a total of 20 countries.
In May, the team secured FDA approval and quickly launched Ferriprox twice-a-day for patients with transfusional iron overload due to thalassemia syndromes when current chelation therapy is inadequate. Later that month, the team collaborated with biotechnology company Protalix on the accelerated FDA approval submission for PRX-102, an enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for Fabry Disease, with approval expected in early 2021. In June, Chiesi Rare Diseases signed an exclusive license to use the Bioasis xB3 platform for delivery of enzymes for treatment of four lysosomal storage disorders. These treatments can cross the blood-brain barrier, with the potential to fundamentally change expectations of what an ERT can bring to patients. More recently, in July they submitted a dossier to the FDA to extend the Ferriprox label to patients with sickle-cell and other anemias with transfusional iron overload.