Advances in new drug therapies for the management of sickle cell disease.
ABSTRACT: Introduction:Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an orphan disease in the United States, but is highly prevalent worldwide. Only two drugs, hydroxyurea and L-glutamine, are approved for this disease. With an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of SCD as well as the success of several recently approved drugs for other orphan diseases, there is an increased interest in the development of drugs for SCD. Areas covered:This review summarizes published studies of drug therapies and ongoing trials of novel agents. Expert opinion:The development of drugs with different mechanisms of action offers opportunities for combination and individualized therapy in SCD. In addition to acute pain crisis, the evaluation of other SCD-related complications, exercise capacity, patient reported outcomes and validated surrogate endpoints are necessary to advance drug development. It is important to involve sites in sub-Saharan Africa and India, which have the highest burden of SCD, in trials of novel therapies.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) afflicts millions of people worldwide but is referred to as an orphan disease in the United States. Over the past several decades, there has been an increasing understanding of the pathophysiology of SCD and its complications. While most individuals with SCD in resource-rich countries survive into adulthood, the life expectancy of patients with SCD remains substantially shorter than for the general African-American population. SCD can be cured using hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and possibly gene therapy, but these treatment approaches are not available to most patients, the majority of whom reside in low- and middle-income countries. Until relatively recently, only one drug, hydroxyurea, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to ameliorate disease severity. Multiple other drugs (L-glutamine, crizanlizumab, and voxelotor) have recently been approved for the treatment of SCD, with several others at various stages of clinical testing. The availability of multiple agents to treat SCD raises questions related to the choice of appropriate drug therapy, combination of multiple agents, and affordability of recently approved products. The enthusiasm for new drug development provides opportunities to involve patients in low- and middle-income nations in the testing of potentially disease-modifying therapies and has the potential to contribute to capacity building in these environments. Demonstration that these agents, alone or in combination, can prevent or decrease end-organ damage would provide additional evidence for the role of drug therapies in improving outcomes in SCD.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an extremely heterogeneous disease that has been associated with global morbidity and early mortality. More effective and inexpensive therapies are needed. During the last five years, the landscape of the pharmacotherapy of SCD has changed dramatically. Currently, 54 drugs have been used or under consideration to use for the treatment of SCD. These fall into 3 categories: the first category includes the four drugs (Hydroxyurea, L-Glutamine, Crizanlizumab tmca and Voxelotor) that have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on successful clinical trials. The second category includes 22 drugs that failed, discontinued or terminated for now and the third category includes 28 drugs that are actively being considered for the treatment of SCD. Crizanlizumab and Voxelotor are included in the first and third categories because they have been used in more than one trial. New therapies targeting multiple pathways in the complex pathophysiology of SCD have been achieved or are under continued investigation. The emerging trend seems to be the use of multimodal drugs (i.e. drugs that have different mechanisms of action) to treat SCD similar to the use of multiple chemotherapeutic agents to treat cancer.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD; ORPHA232; OMIM # 603903) is a chronic and invalidating disorder distributed worldwide, with high morbidity and mortality. Given the disease complexity and the multiplicity of pathophysiological targets, development of new therapeutic options is critical, despite the positive effects of hydroxyurea (HU), for many years the only approved drug for SCD. New therapeutic strategies might be divided into (1) pathophysiology-related novel therapies and (2) innovations in curative therapeutic options such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. The pathophysiology related novel therapies are: a) Agents which reduce sickling or prevent sickle red cell dehydration; b) Agents targeting SCD vasculopathy and sickle cell-endothelial adhesive events; c) Anti-oxidant agents. This review highlights new therapeutic strategies in SCD and discusses future developments, research implications, and possible innovative clinical trials.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a devastating monogenic disorder that presents as a multisystem illness and affects approximately 100,000 individuals in the United States alone. SCD management largely focuses on primary prevention, symptomatic treatment and targeting of hemoglobin polymerization and red blood cell sickling. Areas covered: This review will discuss the progress of SCD over the last few decades, highlighting some of the clinical (mainly cerebrovascular) and psychosocial challenges of SCD in the United States. In addition, focus will also be made on the evolving science and management of this inherited disease. Expert commentary: Until recently hydroxyurea (HU) has been the only FDA approved therapy for SCD. However, advancing understanding of SCD pathophysiology has led to multiple clinical trials targeting SCD related thrombo-inflammation, abnormal endothelial biology, increased oxidant stress and sickle cell mutation. Yet, despite advancing understanding, available therapies are limited. SCD also imposes great psychosocial challenges for the individual and the affected community, which has previously been under-recognized. This has created a pressing need for complementary adjuvant therapies with repurposed and novel drugs, in addition to the establishment of comprehensive clinics focusing on both the medical treatment and the psychosocial issues associated with SCD.
Project description:The primary ?-globin gene mutation that causes sickle cell disease (SCD) has significant pathophysiological consequences that result in hemolytic events and the induction of the inflammatory processes that ultimately lead to vaso-occlusion. In addition to their role in the initiation of the acute painful vaso-occlusive episodes that are characteristic of SCD, inflammatory processes are also key components of many of the complications of the disease including autosplenectomy, acute chest syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, leg ulcers, nephropathy and stroke. We, herein, discuss the events that trigger inflammation in the disease, as well as the mechanisms, inflammatory molecules and cells that propagate these inflammatory processes. Given the central role that inflammation plays in SCD pathophysiology, many of the therapeutic approaches currently under pre-clinical and clinical development for the treatment of SCD endeavor to counter aspects or specific molecules of these inflammatory processes and it is possible that, in the future, we will see anti-inflammatory drugs being used either together with, or in place of, hydroxyurea in those SCD patients for whom hematopoietic stem cell transplants and evolving gene therapies are not a viable option.
Project description:Sickle cell disease is prevalent in several parts of the world. Most hospitalizations of these patients are related to pain crisis episodes. Moreover, levels of hemoglobin are lower in sickle cell disease patients as compared with the general population. Complications related to sickle cell disease are managed with blood transfusions, hydroxyurea, and opioids. Despite these therapies, patients with sickle cell disease experience multiple pain crisis episodes leading to hospitalizations and end-organ damage. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved three new drugs-L-glutamine, voxelotor, and crizanlizumab-for the prophylaxis and treatment of complications related to sickle cell disease. This review was aimed at assessing the efficacy and safety of recently approved drugs for the treatment of sickle cell disease. A comprehensive search was made on PubMed and clinicaltrials.gov to look for clinical trials reporting the efficacy and safety of recently approved drugs for sickle cell disease. Based on the results of clinical trials, L-glutamine, voxelotor, and crizanlizumab were well tolerated by sickle cell disease patients. L-Glutamine and crizanlizumab reduced the number of sickle cell crisis episodes, while voxelotor improved the level of hemoglobin in sickle cell disease patients. These drugs were effective alone and in combination with hydroxyurea.
Project description:For over 100 years, clinicians and scientists have been unravelling the consequences of the A to T substitution in the ?-globin gene that produces haemoglobin S, which leads to the systemic manifestations of sickle cell disease (SCD), including vaso-occlusion, anaemia, haemolysis, organ injury and pain. However, despite growing understanding of the mechanisms of haemoglobin S polymerization and its effects on red blood cells, only two therapies for SCD - hydroxyurea and L-glutamine - are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Moreover, these treatment options do not fully address the manifestations of SCD, which arise from a complex network of interdependent pathophysiological processes. In this article, we review efforts to develop new drugs targeting these processes, including agents that reactivate fetal haemoglobin, anti-sickling agents, anti-adhesion agents, modulators of ischaemia-reperfusion and oxidative stress, agents that counteract free haemoglobin and haem, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-thrombotic agents and anti-platelet agents. We also discuss gene therapy, which holds promise of a cure, although its widespread application is currently limited by technical challenges and the expense of treatment. We thus propose that developing systems-oriented multi-agent strategies on the basis of SCD pathophysiology is needed to improve the quality of life and survival of people with SCD.
Project description:Hydroxyurea is widely used in high-income countries for the management of sickle cell disease (SCD) in children. In Kenyan clinical guidelines, hydroxyurea is only recommended for adults with SCD. Yet many deaths from SCD occur in early childhood, deaths that might be prevented by an effective, disease modifying intervention. The aim of this review was to summarise the available evidence on the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of hydroxyurea in the management of SCD in children below 5 years of age to support guideline development in Kenya. We undertook a systematic review and used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system to appraise the quality of identified evidence. Overall, available evidence from 1 systematic review (n=26 studies), 2 randomised controlled trials (n=354 children), 14 observational studies and 2 National Institute of Health reports suggest that hydroxyurea may be associated with improved fetal haemoglobin levels, reduced rates of hospitalisation, reduced episodes of acute chest syndrome and decreased frequency of pain events in children with SCD. However, it is associated with adverse events (eg, neutropenia) when high to maximum tolerated doses are used. Evidence is lacking on whether hydroxyurea improves survival if given to young children. Majority of the included studies were of low quality and mainly from high-income countries. Overall, available limited evidence suggests that hydroxyurea may improve morbidity and haematological outcomes in SCD in children aged below 5 years and appears safe in settings able to provide consistent haematological monitoring.
Project description:Hydroxyurea therapy offers promise for ameliorating the clinical course of children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Hydroxyurea is a prototypic therapeutic option; it can be administered with minimal side effects, has a relatively wide therapeutic window, and has mechanisms of action that address pathophysiologic pathways of sickling, vaso-occlusion, hemolysis, and organ damage. There are limited data regarding hydroxyurea's ability to prevent or diminish organ dysfunction, and the long-term risks of hydroxyurea therapy remain incompletely defined. Although clinical trials are underway to address long-term issues, hydroxyurea remains an effective but underutilized therapy for SCD.
Project description:Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a monogenic globin disorder characterized by the production of a structurally abnormal hemoglobin (Hb) variant Hb S, which causes severe hemolytic anemia, episodic painful vaso-occlusion, and ultimately end-organ damage. The primary disease pathophysiology is intracellular Hb S polymerization and consequent sickling of erythrocytes. It has become evident for more than several decades that a more complex disease process contributes to the myriad of clinical complications seen in patients with SCD with inflammation playing a central role. Drugs targeting specific inflammatory pathways therefore offer an attractive therapeutic strategy to ameliorate many of the clinical events in SCD. In addition, they are useful tools to dissect the molecular and cellular mechanisms that promote individual clinical events and for developing improved therapeutics to address more challenging clinical dilemmas such as refractoriness to opioids or hyperalgesia. Here, we discuss the prospect of targeting multiple inflammatory pathways implicated in the pathogenesis of SCD with a focus on new therapeutics, striving to link the actions of the anti-inflammatory agents to a defined pathobiology, and specific clinical manifestations of SCD. We also review the anti-inflammatory attributes and the cognate inflammatory targets of hydroxyurea, the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug for SCD.