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Published on 17 June 2008

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Eculizumab improves fatigue in anaemic patients with PNH

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Soliris® (eculizumab) therapy improved the often disabling fatigue experienced by patients with the rare blood disorder paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) independent of improvements in anaemia, according to a study.

These data, presented recently at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 13th Congress in Copenhagen, suggest that fatigue experienced by patients with PNH is related directly to haemolysis – the red blood cell destruction that defines the disease – and can be improved independent of correction of anaemia.

In clinical trials with Soliris, PNH patients experienced a substantial improvement in PNH-related fatigue independent of changes in their anemia.  This improvement was larger than the improvement in fatigue reported in a study of patients treated with erythropoietin (EPO) for their cancer-related fatigue.

The PNH patients treated with Soliris experienced improvements in fatigue independent of changes in their anaemia; the anaemic cancer patients treated with EPO experienced improvements in fatigue only when anaemia was also improved.  Taken together, these data suggest that haemolysis likely contributes to fatigue experienced by patients with PNH independent of the contribution of haemolysis to anaemia in these patients.

Anita Hill, MB, ChB, lead author of the study, said:  “The data presented at EHA help us to understand that fatigue in PNH is tied much more closely to haemolysis than to anaemia, and emphasize the importance of eculizumab therapy in providing a better quality of life to patients with PNH, independent of any changes in anaemia they experience.”

European Hematology Association



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