Alice Melão,  —

Articles by Alice Melão

New Method May Improve Delivery of Targeted Gene Therapies, Study Reports

A delivery method using nanotubes with a spear-like shape may open new avenues for safer, faster, and more cost-effective gene therapies for several genetic diseases, including hemophilia, according to a study. The study, “Precision-Guided Nanospears for Targeted and High-Throughput Intracellular Gene Delivery,” was recently published in the…

Phase 3 Data Demonstrates Eloctate’s Efficacy as Weekly PreventiveTherapy

Data from two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials showed that long-term weekly use of Eloctate can improve bleeding protection while reducing joint symptoms and treatment-associated burden in patients with hemophilia A. Administration of 65 IU/kg of Eloctate per week every 7 days has demonstrated to be sufficient to sustain the required therapeutic effects. These new clinical data further support the prophylactic, or preventive, use of Eloctate, which is currently not indicated for weekly dosing. The findings were the subject of a poster presentation titled “Clinical Outcomes of Weekly Prophylaxis with rFVIIIFc: Longitudinal Analysis of the A-LONG and ASPIRE Study Population” during the 59th ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition that was held in Atlanta, GA. The analysis included clinical data collected from 43 patients older than 12 years, who were treated with weekly dosing of Eloctate for a median time of 3.1 years. All the patients received the treatment during the Phase 3 A-LONG study (NCT01181128) and ASPIRE (NCT01454739) long-term extension study. The data revealed that patients who changed from episodic treatment to weekly prophylaxis with Eloctate experienced a change in median annualized bleeding rates (ABR) of -23.7. In 19 patients who were always on a weekly regimen during the study, the treatment changed their mean ABR from 29 before the study to 1.7 during the trial. This new treatment regimen also provided protection from spontaneous bleeds and joint bleeds, promoting reduced median ABR even when compared to patients who did not receive the weekly regimen. “One of the challenges for people with severe hemophilia A can be treatment every few days with inadequate bleed protection,” Maha Radhakrishnan, MD, senior vice president of medical at Bioverativ, a global biopharmaceutical company that focuses on hemophilia and other rare blood disorders, said in a press release. “We are committed to improving patient outcomes and continue to explore how Eloctate can meaningfully make a difference for patients with the potential for longer dosing intervals that could provide continued joint health improvement.” All participants adhered to the weekly dosing regimen. Indeed, the majority of patients who initiated weekly treatment with Eloctate during the study decided to stay on that regimen. According to the World Federation of Hemophilia guidelines, prophylactic treatment with clotting factor replacement therapy is the better approach to manage severe hemophilia A. However, such treatment commonly requires injections three times per week, which can represent a major burden for the patients. Overall, the data suggests that weekly Eloctate dosing may be an effective prophylaxis regimen for patients with hemophilia A, with improved bleeding protection and reduced treatment burden. “These data show the potential of Eloctate to make a difference for patients, to be able to extend their dosing intervals based on their needs, with improved joint health, and the possibility to reduce the burden of chronic treatment in patients with hemophilia,” said Armin Reininger, MD, PhD, head of medical and scientific affairs at Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi). Eloctate is a recombinant clotting factor VIII that was engineered based on Fc fusion technology to extend its stability in the body. It is marketed by Bioverativ in the United States, Japan, Canada, and several other countries. The extended half-life recombinant clotting factor is also approved with the brand name Elocta in Europe, where is marketed by Sobi.

Joint Problems May Be Good Indicator of Low Bone Density and Osteoporosis

Physical function assessment can be a good predictor of lower bone mineral density and osteoporosis development associated with hemophilia, according to a report published in the American Journal of Blood Research. Therapies to treat hemophilia made available in the past decades have significantly improved patients’ outcomes. This extended survival…