Orphan Australia was founded in 1995 on the principle of providing novel therapies for the treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases where treatment is limited or inadequate.
Orphan Australia continued to grow by expansion of its product range and broadening of therapeutic areas. Orphan Australia has been instrumental in making treatments available to Australian patients suffering from orphan diseases, which in Australia, are those where there are fewer than 2000 patients. Our first therapeutic areas were metabolic disorders, gastroenterology, haematology, and neurology but now include pain and neurosurgery. Our continuing focus ensures that we remain relevant to clinicians so that they can ultimately fulfill the needs of their patients.
Orphan Australia licenses products primarily from Europe and North America, registers these products for sale in Australia with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and applies to list them on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) where appropriate. Orphan Australia provides its niche products to physicians, surgeons and hospital-based pharmacies.
In February 2008 Orphan Australia was acquired by Sigma Pharmaceutical Limited and became part of the Sigma Group. Sigma Pharmaceuticals itself has a proud history, having been founded in Australia in 1912. Sigma is now a leading Australian manufacturer and marketer of prescription, over-the-counter and generic pharmaceutical products, as well as a leading full-line wholesaler and distributor to pharmacies throughout Australia (click here to go to the Sigma website ). This acquisition provides strong strategic and financial benefits to Sigma shareholders and provides Orphan Australia with the opportunity to leverage off Sigma's strong position and relationships.
Orphan continues to benefit from the knowledge and experience of its management team and staff who share and maintain a continuing link with the founding principle.
The founding principle remains our heritage and guide for continued evolution of the business.