Sickle cell infusion gains FDA breakthrough designation


The Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to crizanlizumab, a monthly infusion for the prevention of vasoocclusive crises in patients with sickle cell disease of all genotypes.

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The designation allows the treatment to be reviewed on an expedited schedule.

Crizanlizumab, marketed by Novartis, is a humanized anti–P-selectin monoclonal antibody that has been shown to inhibit interactions between endothelial cells, platelets, red blood cells, sickled red blood cells, and leukocytes.

In the phase 2 SUSTAIN trial, crizanlizumab reduced the median annual rate of vasoocclusive crises that resulted in health care visits by about 45%, compared with placebo (1.63 vs. 2.98; P = .010). The drug also increased the percentage of patients who did not experience any vasoocclusive crises, compared with placebo (35.8% vs. 16.9%; P = .010).

The rates of treatment-emergent and serious adverse events was similar in the drug and placebo arms of the trial.

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