News from the FDA/CDC

FDA approves Givlaari for treatment of acute hepatic porphyria


The Food and Drug Administration has approved givosiran (Givlaari) for the treatment of adult patients with acute hepatic porphyria, a genetic disorder that causes buildup of porphyrin molecules.

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“This buildup can cause acute attacks, known as porphyria attacks, which can lead to severe pain and paralysis, respiratory failure, seizures, and mental status changes. These attacks occur suddenly and can produce permanent neurological damage and death. Prior to today’s approval, treatment options have only provided partial relief from the intense unremitting pain that characterizes these attacks,” Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence, said in a statement.

Approval for givosiran is based on results from a clinical trial of 94 patients with acute hepatic porphyria. Patients who received givosiran experienced 70% fewer porphyria attacks that required hospitalization, urgent health care visits, or home intravenous hemin injections compared with patients who received a placebo.

The most common adverse events associated with givosiran were nausea and injection site reactions. Patients receiving the medication should be monitored for anaphylactic reaction and renal function, and liver function should be tested before and periodically during treatment.

“The drug approved today can treat this disease by helping to reduce the number of attacks that disrupt the lives of patients,” said Dr. Pazdur, acting director of the Office of Oncologic Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

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