Jeffrey Modell Foundation Opens Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital
The Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies is now open.
Cleveland, OH — 25 May 2006
The Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF), in partnership with ZLB Behring, opened the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies (PI) at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital today. The center is housed within the department of allergy and immunology at the hospital, and is headed by Melvin Berger, M.D.
"This is very exciting for Rainbow," said Dr. Berger. "We are now one of only 25 centers of this kind in the world, focusing on the diagnosis, care and treatment of people suffering with PI."
PI affects males and females of all ages, but the most severe forms are frequently detected in children. Symptoms of PI are often overlooked because they appear to be common childhood illnesses such as sinus infections, pneumonia, fever and bronchitis. For this reason, families and doctors are often unaware that the troubling conditions that they are dealing with are actually rooted in a defect in the immune system. Failure to diagnose PI can lead to serious chronic illness, permanent damage to health, or even death.
Primary Immunodeficiencies include more than 120 diseases caused by an immune system that does not function properly.
"PI has been an ongoing health issue for me for years," said patient David Sheppler. "It was difficult to find a treatment that helped on a sustained basis. Thanks to the continued research and the dedicated doctors and researchers working on PI treatment alternatives, though, I have finally found one. Now, I can receive my treatments subcutaneously (i.e., under the skin), instead of intravenously. This provides an enormous amount of freedom and control for me. Since being on it, I have not missed even a single day of work. It’s just great. In addition, it was easy to learn how to administer."
"We know that as many as 500,000 cases of PI remain undiagnosed in the United States," said Fred Modell, co-founder of the JMF. "Our goal is to give every child a chance to lead a healthy, normal life. We are thrilled to form this partnership with Rainbow and ZLB Behring.
"Dr. Berger is one of the nation’s experts in the PI diseases, and combining his expertise with the Jeffrey Modell Foundation programs, should be a great asset for the northeast Ohio region."
"Early recognition and diagnosis of PI can save lives and improve the health of many patients," said Berger. "This partnership will allow us to provide cutting edge research and treatment options for our patients, in particular advancing our efforts in subcutaneous treatments."
"ZLB Behring is proud and honored to be a part of this very exciting event," said Peter Turner, President, ZLB Behring. "The Jeffrey Modell Foundation's clear commitment to patient care is being proven once again with the establishment of this new diagnostic center. We are pleased that, as a result, patients will have even greater access to subcutaneous Immunoglobulin, an important new product that offers choice and convenience to children and adults with primary immunodeficiency."
ZLB Behring is the manufacturer of the first and only Food and Drug Administration-approved subcutaneous (SC) Immunoglobulin (Ig) treatment that can be safely self-administered by PI patients under a physician’s care in the United States. Dr. Berger worked with ZLB Behring through its clinical trials.
"Subcutaneous administration of immunoglobulins is a life-changing advancement for patients with PI," said Dr. Berger. "It greatly improves their quality of life and offers them more independence."
"This new partnership reaffirms the commitment from the Foundation, Rainbow and ZLB Behring to raise awareness and increase diagnosis of PI globally," said Modell. "An assured focus on PI diagnoses and treatments is the path to helping those unnecessarily suffering with these diseases."
About Jeffrey Modell Foundation
The Jeffrey Modell Foundation was established in 1987 by Vicki and Fred Modell in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at the age of 15 of a PI disease. The Foundation is dedicated to early and precise diagnosis, meaningful treatments, and ultimately cures of primary immunodeficiencies. More information on PI can be found at www.info4pi.org or by calling the JMF hotline at 1-866-INFO-4-PI.
About Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital is one of America's great children's hospitals. Rainbow is the only hospital in Cleveland dedicated solely to the care of children. As the teaching hospital of Case Western Reserve University, Rainbow ranks among the top academic pediatric programs in the country receiving over $52 million yearly in research funding to support cutting edge investigation into the causes and treatments of pediatric diseases. Rainbow consistently ranks among the top six children's Hospital in the nation and the top children's hospital in the Midwest in the "America’s Best Hospital's" issue of US News and World Report. Every new drug approved for children has been tested at Rainbow. Rainbow is a world leader in the treatment of children with cancer, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, kidney disease and pulmonary and endocrine disorders. More than 850 pediatric specialists – the most in Ohio – are on staff at Rainbow and its 40 special care centers. In addition Rainbow's nationally acclaimed residency training and fellowship programs train more than 100 pediatricians yearly. Rainbow's Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care Units along with the area's only Regional Pediatric Trauma Center carry the highest-designation levels available. Rainbow's pediatric cancer center, part of the Ireland Cancer Center, is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center. Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital with 244 beds is the children's hospital of University Hospitals of Cleveland. Visit www.rainbowbabies.org
About ZLB Behring
ZLB Behring is a global leader in the plasma protein biotherapeutics industry. Dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients throughout the world, ZLB Behring provides safe and effective plasma-derived and recombinant products and offers patients a wide range of related services. The company's broad portfolio of life-saving therapeutics is used in the treatment of individuals with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders, immune deficiency disorders, and inherited emphysema; for the prevention of hemolytic diseases for the newborn; in cardiac surgery patients; and in shock and burn victims. Additionally, ZLB Behring operates one of the world’s largest, fully owned plasma collection networks. ZLB Behring is a subsidiary of CSL Limited, a biopharmaceutical company, which operates worldwide from its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. For more information, please visit www.ZLBBehring.com
Sarah Mandell, Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Amanda Todorovich, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
Sheila A. Burke
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Worldwide Commercial Operations, CSL Behring