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Santagostino E.,Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center
Haemophilia | Year: 2013

Approximately 20-30% of patients with severe haemophilia A develop alloantibodies ('inhibitors') to infused FVIII rendering use of such replacement therapy ineffective. Once an inhibitor emerges, immune tolerance induction (ITI) is the standard treatment. ITI involves giving regular doses of FVIII concentrate to eradicate the inhibitor and achieve immunogenic acceptance of administered FVIII. In the early 2000s, a retrospective analysis of inhibitor patients treated at a single centre in Germany indicated that success rates were higher when patients were treated with von Willebrand factor (VWF)-containing plasma-derived FVIII (pdFVIII/VWF) concentrate compared with recombinant or non-VWF-containing pdFVIII products. Importantly, pdFVIII/VWF as rescue therapy was able to convert 8 of 10 patients who had failed primary ITI with recombinant or non-VWF-containing pdFVIII product. A subsequent study from Italy in patients with poor prognostic factors for ITI success also reported good success rates with pdFVIII/VWF as rescue therapy (53% success; 41% partial success). The Grifols-Immune Tolerance Induction (G-ITI) Study represents the largest group of haemophilia A inhibitor patients treated with a single pdFVIII/VWF concentrate (Alphanate®/Fanhdi®) to be reported to date. Data have been collected for 95 patients who underwent primary or rescue ITI at 46 centres in Europe and the US. Currently, published data are available for 33 patients in the US cohort (11 centres), and data from the European cohort are being analysed. Both groups contained patients with poor prognostic factors and most patients received a high-dose regimen (≥100 IU pdFVIII/VWF kg-1 daily). As expected, the success rate was better for primary vs. rescue ITI and for patients with good vs. poor prognostic factors. However, more than half the patients in the US cohort receiving rescue ITI achieved success (33% complete success; 20% partial success). These results should encourage clinicians to consider the use of pdFVIII/VWF concentrates for rescue ITI. Published outcomes data from the total global G-ITI cohort (95 patients) are awaited with anticipation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Mannucci P.M.,Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center
Thrombosis and Haemostasis | Year: 2015

The use of plasma-derived and recombinant coagulation factors for the treatment of haemophilia A and B is well established and permits patients to live a relatively normal life. In order to improve treatment options, several products are in development, which have a prolonged duration of action, thus enabling less frequent prophylactic dosing and aiming to reduce the burden of treatment. Several innovative approaches are being pursued to extend the half-life of factor VIIa, factor VIII and factor IX, utilising technologies such as Fc fusion, recombinant albumin fusion and addition of polyethyleneglycol (PEG) (PEG ylation). These methods prolong the time in the circulation by reducing degradation and elimination. This review summarises the technologies and products in development and their stages of development, and also discusses their pros and cons. © Schattauer 2015. Source

Becattini C.,University of Perugia | Agnelli G.,University of Perugia | Schenone A.,Galliera Hospital | Eichinger S.,Medical University of Vienna | And 7 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: About 20% of patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism have a recurrence within 2 years after the withdrawal of oral anticoagulant therapy. Extending anticoagulation prevents recurrences but is associated with increased bleeding. The benefit of aspirin for the prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism is unknown. METHODS:In this multicenter, investigator-initiated, double-blind study, patients with first-ever unprovoked venous thromboembolism who had completed 6 to 18 months of oral anticoagulant treatment were randomly assigned to aspirin, 100 mg daily, or placebo for 2 years, with the option of extending the study treatment. The primary efficacy outcome was recurrence of venous thromboembolism, and major bleeding was the primary safety outcome. RESULTS:Venous thromboembolism recurred in 28 of the 205 patients who received aspirin and in 43 of the 197 patients who received placebo (6.6% vs. 11.2% per year; hazard ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36 to 0.93) (median study period, 24.6 months). During a median treatment period of 23.9 months, 23 patients taking aspirin and 39 taking placebo had a recurrence (5.9% vs. 11.0% per year; hazard ratio, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.92). One patient in each treatment group had a major bleeding episode. Adverse events were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Aspirin reduced the risk of recurrence when given to patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism who had discontinued anticoagulant treatment, with no apparent increase in the risk of major bleeding. (Funded by the University of Perugia and others; WARFASA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00222677.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

Mancuso M.E.,Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center | Mannucci P.M.,Scientific Direction
Drug Design, Development and Therapy | Year: 2014

Prophylaxis with regular infusions of factor VIII (FVIII)- or factor IX (FIX)- containing products is the mainstay of modern hemophilia care. However, this therapeutic regimen is inconvenient, requiring repeated intravenous injections from childhood. Approaches meant to prolong the half-life of FVIII and FIX in plasma have been developed in order to improve the feasibility and acceptability of replacement therapy, extending protection from bleeding, reducing infusion frequency and hence the need for venous access devices in young children. Several strategies have been implemented to enhance the pharmacokinetics of clotting factors, including conjugation with polyethylene glycol and the production by genetic engineering of fusion proteins containing the coagulation factors linked to a long-lived plasma protein such as albumin or the Fc fragment of immunoglobulin (Ig)G. The latter technology is one of the most promising, since the prolongation of FVIII and FIX half-life is obtained by exploiting the physiological binding of the Fc domain to the neonatal Fc receptor. Fc fusion monomers have been obtained with both recombinant FVIII (rFVIIIFc) and FIX (rFIXFc), and data from preclinical and clinical studies showed improved pharmacokinetics for both factors, which are produced in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells, thus ensuring full human post-translational modifications. In Phase I/IIa studies, rFVIIIFc and rFIXFc showed 1.5-1.7 fold and 3.0-4.0 fold longer elimination half-life, respectively. Similar data have been obtained in the Phase III clinical studies with rFVIIIFc and rFIX-Fc published recently. Both drugs were satisfactorily safe, particularly with respect to immunogenicity, and no serious adverse event was observed. © 2014 Mancuso and Mannucci. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited. Source

Lillicrap D.,Queens University | Fijnvandraat K.,University of Amsterdam | Santagostino E.,Angelo Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center
Haemophilia | Year: 2014

It is known that a large number of both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the risk of inhibitor development, but underlying pathogenetic mechanisms are still under investigation. The clinical research on inhibitors towards factor VIII (FVIII) is challenged by the fact that this is an infrequent event occurring in a rare disease. Therefore, it is widely accepted that complementary studies involving animal models can provide important insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of this complication. In this respect, mouse models have been studied for clues to FVIII immunogenicity, natural history of immunity and for different approaches to primary and secondary tolerance induction. In the clinical setting, the type of FVIII product used and the occurrence of product switching are considered important factors which may have an influence on inhibitor development. The evaluation of data currently available in the literature does not prove unequivocally that a difference in the immunogenicity exists between particular FVIII products (e.g. recombinant vs. plasma-derived, full length vs. B-domainless). In addition, national products switches have occurred and, in this context, switching was not associated with an enhanced inhibitor risk. In contrast with severe haemophilia A, patients with moderate and mild haemophilia A receive FVIII treatment infrequently for bleeds or surgery. In this condition the inhibitor risk is low but remains present lifelong, requiring continuous vigilance, particularly after intensive FVIII exposure. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

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