Emapalumab found safe, effective in primary HLH

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Outside the San Diego Convention Center, site of the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting
© ASH/Luke Franke 2018
Emapalumab, an interferon gamma-blocking antibody, controls disease activity and has a favorable safety profile in pediatric patients with primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), according to research presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting. Investigators believe emapalumab, which was... [Read Article]
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Luspatercept reduced transfusion burden in MDS patients

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Alan F. List, MD
© ASH/Scott Morgan 2018
Results of the randomized, phase 3 Medalist trial show that the erythroid maturation agent luspatercept can reduce transfusion burden in patients with anemia due to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and ring sideroblasts. Almost 38% of luspatercept-treated patients achieved red blood cell (RBC) transfusion independence for 8 weeks... [Read Article]
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Pegfilgrastim biosimilar approved by EC

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Nurse bandaging
chemotherapy patient
Photo by Rhoda Baer
The European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorization for Sandoz’s pegfilgrastim product Ziextenzo®, a biosimilar of Amgen’s Neulasta. Ziextenzo is approved for the same use as the reference medicine—to reduce the duration of neutropenia and the incidence of febrile neutropenia in adults receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy for... [Read Article]
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EC approves pegfilgrastim biosimilar

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Cancer patient receiving chemotherapy
Photo by Rhoda Baer
The European Commission (EC) has approved Mundipharma’s pegfilgrastim product Pelmeg, a biosimilar of Amgen’s Neulasta. Pelmeg is approved for use in reducing the duration of neutropenia and the incidence of febrile neutropenia in adults who receive cytotoxic chemotherapy for malignancies, with the exceptions of chronic... [Read Article]
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FDA approves first treatment for primary HLH

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Emapalumab (Gamifant)
Photo from Business Wire
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved emapalumab-lzsg (Gamifant®) to treat primary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Emapalumab, an interferon gamma-blocking antibody, is approved to treat to treat patients of all ages (newborn and older) with primary HLH who have refractory, recurrent, or progressive disease or who cannot... [Read Article]
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FDA approves generic decitabine for MDS

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Micrograph showing MDS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Lupin’s decitabine product, a generic version of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.’s Dacogen, to treat patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Lupin’s decitabine for injection (50 mg, single-dose vial) is approved to treat patients with intermediate-1, intermediate-2, and high-risk MDS. This includes previously treated, untreated,... [Read Article]
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Score can predict thrombosis in ITP

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Thrombus
Image by Andre E.X. Brown
New research suggests a scoring system can predict the risk of thrombosis in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) who are taking anticoagulants. Researchers tested their Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia (TH2) risk assessment score in a small group of ITP patients on anticoagulants, and the score identified all seven patients... [Read Article]
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Preoperative anemia management saves blood, money

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Christine M. Cahill
Photo by Neil Osterweil
Results of a pilot program suggest preoperative management of anemia can reduce transfusion rates and cut costs, but the effect on patient outcomes isn’t clear. For this program, anemic patients received dietary guidance and supplementation prior to surgery. This increased day-of-surgery hemoglobin levels, reduced intraoperative and postoperative... [Read Article]
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Combo worsens platelet recovery in MDS

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Eltrombopag (Promacta)
Photo courtesy of GSK
Results from the phase 3 SUPPORT trial suggest there is no role for the combination of eltrombopag and azacitidine in patients with intermediate- or high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), according to investigators. Adding eltrombopag to azacitidine worsened platelet recovery, reduced the overall response rate, and did not improve overall... [Read Article]
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FDA clears portable hematology analyzer

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HemoScreen
Photo courtesy of
PixCell Medical
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted 510(k) clearance for PixCell Medical’s HemoScreen™. This portable hematology analyzer is used to perform a complete blood count at the point of care. HemoScreen requires a single drop of blood and uses disposable cartridges that provide automatic sample preparation.... [Read Article]
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Denosumab fights osteoporosis in TDT patients

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Vials of drug
Photo by Bill Branson
Denosumab can be effective against osteoporosis caused by transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT), according to research published in Blood Advances. Researchers found that patients who received twice-yearly injections of denosumab experienced a significant increase in bone density and reduction in bone pain. “Not only is denosumab associated with improved... [Read Article]
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