According to a story from Angioedema News, a recent study demonstrated the effectiveness of the medication Haegarda in reducing the number of swelling attacks experienced by hereditary angioedema patients. Preventative use of this drug was effective in patients with C1 inhibitor deficiency regardless of their baseline characteristics. This study was an exploratory analysis of a phase 3 clinical trial that tested Haegarda’s effectiveness.
About Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)
Hereditary angioedema is a genetic disorder which is characterized by chronic episodes of swelling that can affect multiple areas of the body. The condition is caused by mutations affecting the HAE gene. Swelling attacks generally occur every two weeks or so; they can usually last for several days. Swelling may affect the limbs, digestive tract, face, and airway, with blockage of the airway being the most dangerous complication. Vomiting and abdominal pain may accompany attacks as well if the digestive tract is involved. Treatment involves reducing the likelihood for attacks to appear and preventing them from worsening when they do. Hereditary angioedema is typically only life-threatening if left untreated. Prevalence of the condition is estimated to be around one in 10,000 to one in 50,000, at least in the US and Canada. To learn more about hereditary angioedema, click here.
Haegarda as Treatment for Swelling Attacks
Haegarda has been approved for public use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapy for the condition since June of 2017. The original trial data demonstrated that Haegarda could reduce the frequency of swelling episodes by a median of 95 percent and brought down the usage of rescue drugs by a median of 100 percent.
The analysis of these results also found that in the first two weeks of Haegarda use just 23 percent of patients being treated with a 60 IU/kg dose experienced swelling episodes; by comparison, 81 percent of the placebo group did. Patients taking placebo needed rescue drugs at ten times the rate of patients receiving the drug. Even the patients who saw the smallest benefit from Haegarda still had to use rescue medications less often; their swelling episodes were also less severe.
The findings reinforce the fact that Haegarda is an highly useful treatment for hereditary angioedema patients. Check out the original study, first published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, here.