That haemophilia is no longer a death sentence and can be successfully treated is due in great part to the ingenuity and devotion of physicians and scientists in Oxford.

Thanks to pioneering work carried out by Gwyn Macfarlane (1907–87) and other colleagues at the
Medical Research Council’s Blood Coagulation Unit at the Churchill Hospital, it is now known there are two forms of haemophilia – haemophilia A (factor VIII deficiency) and haemophilia B (factor IX deficiency) – and that it is caused by an inherited recessive X chromosome disorder, and consequently almost exclusively restricted to men.

By the year 2000 scientists had enabled haemophiliacs to lead lives similar to those whose blood contained innate clotting agents.


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