After in-licensing Icatibant, a Bradykinin B2 receptor agonist, from Slayback Pharma, global pharmaceutical and biosimilar leader Sandoz is launching a generic version in the United States. According to a recent press release, Sandoz will be offering the injectable therapy for adult patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE) immediately.
Considered a generic version of Firazyr, the Icatibant injection is designed to assist patients with acute HAE attacks. HAE can often be disabling and interrupt patients’ quality of life (QOL). Thus, the Icatibant injection is not just a way for Sandoz to expand its therapeutic portfolio, but a way to offer significant improvement to patients. Because this therapy is generic, it is also more accessible for patients.
If a patient experiences a laryngeal attack, or severe swelling in the throat, they should seek their doctor immediately. Laryngeal HAE attacks can cause asphyxiation and suffocation.
While Icatibant is relatively safe and well-tolerated, nearly all patients in clinical trials experienced injection site reactions. Other side effects included rash, dizziness, and fever.
If you are currently taking any ACE inhibitors, please speak to your doctor before using Icatibant.
Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)
Overall, hereditary angioedema (HAE) is aptly named; “hereditary” means it is inherited, “angio” means relating to blood vessels, and “edema” means swelling caused by excess fluids. Thus, patients with HAE experience attacks of severe swelling under their skin. Normally, a blood protein called C1-inhibitor plays a role in coagulation, inflammation, and overall health and wellness. But a genetic defect or mutation on chromosome 11 causes C1-inhibitor failure. This prompts the development of excess bradykinin, which leaks fluid into body tissues and causes edema. Although HAE affects both males and females, females are more symptomatic due to hormonal changes. Stress, injury, and other factors can trigger an attack. Symptoms include:
- Severe facial swelling, which can cause the eyes to swell shut
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme abdominal distention
- Throat swelling
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the extremities to 2x their normal size