Study first to confirm effectiveness and safety of new treatment for hemophilia

An international research team led by Dr. Cindy Leissinger of Tulane University School of Medicine, along with Dr. Alessandro Gringeri from the University of Milan, has found that a drug commonly used to treat bleeding events in people with a type of severe hemophilia can also be used to prevent such events from happening in the first place. The study, the first to confirm the efficacy and safety of the drug FEIBA™ in bleed prevention is published in the Nov. 3, 2011 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study examined the ability of FEIBA to prevent bleeds in people with severe A with . People with this condition produce antibodies known as inhibitors. These inhibitors render ineffective the usual treatment for hemophilia, which involves replacement of the blood clotting factor (Factor VIII) that is absent in hemophilia patients. Approximately 30 percent of patients with severe hemophilia A develop such "inhibitor" antibodies. Hemophilia A patients with inhibitors require treatments with alternate forms of clotting factor concentrates, known as bypassing agents, and until recently primarily had to be infused with clotting factors "on demand" as bleeding episodes occur. Treatment of bleeding events in these patients is not always effective, leading to significant problems for patients, who typically experience repeated joint bleeding and progressive joint disease.

The Tulane-led study tested if preventive treatment with the bypassing agent FEIBA is safe and effective in preventing joint and other bleeds in hemophilia A patients with inhibitors. Thirty-four patients were enrolled for the 15-month-long study.

The study showed that, compared to on-demand therapy, FEIBA infused three times per week resulted in an overall reduction of 62 percent in all bleeding events and a 72 percent reduction in target joint bleeding ("target joints" are joints that experience repetitive bleeding). Nearly two-thirds of patients showed a very good response to preventive FEIBA , experiencing a reduction in bleeding events of 82 percent.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hemostatic drug less effective than originally predicted

Nov 15, 2010

The use of recombinant activated factor 7 (rFVIIa) – a drug used to treat bleeding in hemophiliacs – in patients without hemophilia is not recommended because of the potential for adverse events, found a study published ...

New animal model for hemophilia A developed

Sep 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have developed a new animal model for studying hemophilia A, with the goal of eventually treating people with the disorder. Hemophilia A, a hereditary defect that prevents ...

Recommended for you

Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved

Feb 27, 2015

From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting ...

Neurons controlling appetite made from skin cells

Feb 27, 2015

Researchers have for the first time successfully converted adult human skin cells into neurons of the type that regulate appetite, providing a patient-specific model for studying the neurophysiology of weight ...

Quality control for adult stem cell treatment

Feb 27, 2015

A team of European researchers has devised a strategy to ensure that adult epidermal stem cells are safe before they are used as treatments for patients. The approach involves a clonal strategy where stem cells are collected ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.