(Vienna, 02 March 2021) Christoph Male of the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, MedUni Vienna, was awarded with the Alexander-Schmidt-Award by the Society of Haemostasis and Thrombosis Research (GTH). The expert for paediatric coagulation disorders received the highest-ranking research award of the German-Austrian-Swiss professional society for a study on haemophilia in children.
The award was granted to Christoph Male for a paper published in the top journal Haematologica.
The haemophilia centre headed by C. Male at the Paediatric Department of the MedUni Vienna is part of the der PedNet study group, an international, multicentre study network, which systematically follows a representative cohort of children with haemophilia from birth to age 18 years. C. Male is board member of the PedNet consortium and heads the working group on haemophilia B.
Haemophilia, the classical hereditary bleeding disorder, belongs to the group of rare diseases. Haemophilia B (coagulation factor IX deficiency) is five times rarer than haemophilia A (factor VIII deficiency). Although both forms of haemophilia show a similar clinical presentation, they also differ, for example regarding the occurrence of inhibitors against FIX or FVIII, the most severe complication of treatment of haemophilia. FIX inhibitors are thought to be rarer but have a more severe clinical course, for which, however, there were few reliable data.
The study from the PedNet cohort published under Male’s lead was the first to provide valid data on the incidence and time course of FIX inhibitors occurrence in haemophilia B. Moreover, the study showed a strong association of underlying FIX mutations with inhibitor development, while clinical factors played no relevant role for the risk. The study results also explain differences in inhibitor development between haemophilia B and haemophilia A.
Apart from honoring Male for his scientific work, he also received the Alexander-Schmidt-Award for his engagement within the GTH (board member 2011-2015, congress secretary or member of the scientific committee of several GTH annual congresses, designated congress president for the GTH congress 2024 in Vienna, together with Cihan Ay of the MedUni Vienna).
Ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Male, MSc, heads the Unit for Coagulation Disorders at the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, MedUni Vienna, which cares for children with bleeding disorders as well as children with thrombotic disorders. The working group is engaged in several international clinical studies on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, risk factors, diagnosis, and outcome of coagulation disorders in children. A particular focus is the development of new therapies, and the group runs several studies on new medicines for children in cooperation with academic consortia and/or the pharmaceutical industry.
Christoph Male, among many committments, is Immediate Past Chair of the Pediatric and Neonatal Scientific and Standardization Committee (SSC) of the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), executive committee member of the International Paediatric Thrombosis Network (IPTN), and chair of the Scientific Board of the Austrian Haemophilia Society. He was Austrian representative in the Paediatric Committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for 9 years, he is Expert for Connect4children (C4C) Collaborative Network for European Clinical Trials for Children, Director of the Austrian Paediatric Formulary (Kindermedika), and paediatric member of the Ethics Board of the MedUni Vienna. Since many years Male teaches on the subject of ‚Clinical Epidemiology and Study Design‘ in many different formats at the MedUni Vienna and other places.
‚Inhibitor incidence in an unselected cohort of previously untreated patients with severe haemophilia B: a PedNet study’. Male C, Gretenkort N, Rafowicz A, Liesner R, Kurnik K, Fischer K, Platokouki H, Santagostino E, Chambost H, Nolan B, Königs C, Kenet G, Ljung R, van den Berg HM, on behalf of the PedNet study group. Haematologica 2021;106:123-129. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2019.239160.