Resonance Health Ltd (ASX: RHT) has signed a Patient Access to FerriSmart Letter of Agreement (LoA) with the World Health Organization (WHO) related Cyprus based, Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF).
Pursuant to the LoA, TIF will deploy 500 FerriSmart vouchers, provided by Resonance Health at no cost, across targeted low-and-middle income countries in Asia, West Pacific, and Europe. To support TIF’s distribution, management, and administration, of the FerriSmart Access Initiative, the company will also provide salary support of EU10K paid in instalments over 12 months, for a dedicated and experienced TIF executive.
Under the LoA, TIF will engage with National Thalassaemia Associations and physicians to facilitate utilisation of FerriSmart, and with national health authorities and key opinion leaders (KOLs) on the value and cost effectiveness of integrating regular iron-load monitoring into clinical management protocols (establishing local standards of care). TIF will also introduce Resonance Health to local KOLs, which is a critical part of establishing long-term sustainable commercial product success in new markets.
Resonance Health will provide TIF, KOLs, customers, and patients, with product education and information, and customer product support consistent with its standard practice. The Company will also respond to requests for product material requests appropriate to specific markets and will be equipped to do so with its team of sales and marketing executives trained in the products.
Data collected from the FerriSmart Access Initiative will be used in TIF’s Global Thalassaemia Review and by Resonance Health to improve and refine its product offerings, subject to applicable laws and regulations including with respect to patient privacy.
Importantly, TIF’s International Scientific Advisory Board will guide the FerriSmart Access Initiative and advise and educate when required and assess the initiative outcomes. The LoA has an initial term of 12 months commencing December 2021 following which any unused vouchers will expire (unless extended by the Company), at which time Resonance Health and TIF will assess the success of FerriSmart’s establishment and uptake in the new markets.
TIF’s vision is to ensure equal access to quality healthcare for every patient with thalassaemia and other haemoglobin disorders across the world. Iron chelation is one of the two cornerstones of thalassaemia management (the other being blood transfusion) and accurate iron load monitoring of the heart and liver contributes immensely to the assessment of the effectiveness of chelation therapy. Thus, the development of iron-related complications is prevented while at the same time allowing for better resource distribution for healthcare system improvements and developments,” Executive Director of TIF, Dr Androulla Eleftheriou, said.
“To that end, we are delighted to reach this important agreement with Resonance Health for the rollout of FerriSmart into low-and-middle income countries, starting with nations in Asia, West Pacific, and Europe. Resonance Health’s FerriScan product is the only global gold standard to-date for measuring liver-iron- concentrate (LIC) which is critical to managing thalassaemia. While many of the developed world’s reference centres and KOLs have adapted FerriScan, its application in the more thalassaemia-prone low-and-middle income countries has been severely hindered mainly due to FerriScan’s reliance on highly trained personnel, which adds significantly to its cost and renders it unaffordable and unscalable in many lower income regions.
“We are thus thrilled with Resonance Health’s development of FerriSmart, a new automated AI product calibrated against the FerriScan gold standard and now available for patients globally. FerriSmart uses the same non-invasive R2 MRI approach as FerriScan, which TIF acknowledges its contribution as the most accurate and safest LIC diagnosis, and which has been thoroughly used in clinical trials for reliable iron measurements. To that end, in 2017 TIF released a global alert cautioning clinicians from using untested, non-standardized methods of iron assessment, which can be highly unreliable particularly at elevated iron levels and may jeopardize the health of the patients.
“FerriSmart is a breakthrough for Thalassaemia patients in low-and-middle income countries where thalassaemia is unfortunately and sadly often sub-optimally managed and the inability to accurately assess LIC contributes to this. Committed to improving the lives of patients globally, I am delighted to see the conclusion of this agreement with Resonance Health as a great step forward for better health outcomes of thalassaemia patients and we hope this is the first step in a multi-year sustained rollout of FerriSmart. Moreover,
“TIF looks forward to the development and approval of additional iron load monitoring tools that will be of equal reliability and quality, and that will meet the approval processes of the EMA and FDA so as patients and healthcare professionals will have the opportunity to choose the tool they wish or prefer to use.”