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

November 2, 2011

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.

Explore further: Collaborative develops drug that may help hemophilia patients

Related Stories

Recommended for you

We've all got a blind spot, but it can be shrunk

August 31, 2015

You've probably never noticed, but the human eye includes an unavoidable blind spot. That's because the optic nerve that sends visual signals to the brain must pass through the retina, which creates a hole in that light-sensitive ...

Biologists identify mechanisms of embryonic wound repair

August 31, 2015

It's like something out of a science-fiction movie - time-lapse photography showing how wounds in embryos of fruit flies heal themselves. The images are not only real; they shed light on ways to improve wound recovery in ...

New 'Tissue Velcro' could help repair damaged hearts

August 28, 2015

Engineers at the University of Toronto just made assembling functional heart tissue as easy as fastening your shoes. The team has created a biocompatible scaffold that allows sheets of beating heart cells to snap together ...

Fertilization discovery: Do sperm wield tiny harpoons?

August 26, 2015

Could the sperm harpoon the egg to facilitate fertilization? That's the intriguing possibility raised by the University of Virginia School of Medicine's discovery that a protein within the head of the sperm forms spiky filaments, ...

Research identifies protein that regulates body clock

August 26, 2015

New research into circadian rhythms by researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga shows that the GRK2 protein plays a major role in regulating the body's internal clock and points the way to remedies for jet lag ...

0 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.