Another 45 students with chronic, immune-mediated diseases are going to college with a little help from AbbVie.
AbbVie announced the recipients of this year’s Immunology Scholarship on Thursday, a group of students who have “exemplified determination to overcome challenges,” AbbVie’s US president of immunology Patrick Horber said in a news release.
While best known for its portfolio of immunology drugs such as Rinvoq, Skyrizi or blockbuster Humira — which faces an impending patent cliff — AbbVie launched its immunology scholarship program back in 2016 to prove its commitment to helping patients outside of filling prescriptions.
“The AbbVie Immunology Scholarship program extends our passion for patient care by aiming to reduce the financial burden for students impacted by inflammatory diseases in their pursuit of a life not defined by their diagnosis,” a spokesperson told Endpoint News in an email.
Since the program’s inception, AbbVie has given out 300 scholarships, ranging from $5,000 for those pursuing an associate degree to $15,000 for students going after their bachelor’s, master’s or PhD. Just this year, more than 1,000 patients applied.
AbbVie considers patients across a range of conditions, including ankylosing spondylitis, atopic dermatitis, Crohn’s disease, hidradenitis suppurativa, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and uveitis.
Among this year’s recipients is Alaa-adeen Ahmad, a Capella University student with ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease that can cause bones in the spine to fuse, making the spine less flexible.
Ahmad was diagnosed a few years ago, after experiencing pain and muscle spasms. Now he’s pursuing a career in healthcare quality and safety management and is on track to get his doctorate. He’s already achieved an MBA in healthcare management while working full-time and processing his newly diagnosed disease.
“The AbbVie Immunology Scholarship will help me carve a path forward and expand my career in healthcare management while living with ankylosing spondylitis and supporting my young family,” Ahmad said in a statement.
AbbVie will begin accepting applicants for its next round of scholarships in October.