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New sickle cell anemia therapy advances to Phase II clinical trials
Date:6/12/2013

SAN DIEGO (June 12, 2013) Seeking to improve the lives of sickle cell anemia sufferers around the world, researchers from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center in Boston and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and others are preparing to launch Phase II of a clinical trial to investigate a potential new therapy for reducing the disorder's severest symptoms. Sickle cell anemia is a serious, painful and chronic illness that impedes blood flow and can lead to early death. More than 100,000 Americans and several million people worldwide suffer from this genetic disorder.

The phase II trial, funded by a $10.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, is testing an already existing drug called Lexiscan (regadenoson - Astellas Pharma US, Inc.), which is used for diagnosing heart disease. Researchers are exploring whether the drug's anti-inflammatory effects will significantly reduce the pain and blood flow disturbances of sickle cell anemia. A Phase I safety study was completed earlier this year. Recruitment is now under way for the trial's second phase to be conducted at treatment centers in eight major U.S. cities: Boston, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Chapel Hill, and St. Louis.

"We are excited to begin the next phase of investigating Lexiscan's potential for reducing inflammation that contributes to the poor blood flow and serious complications of sickle cell disease," says La Jolla Institute scientist Joel Linden, Ph.D., a prominent researcher whose studies laid the groundwork for the trial. "Our phase I results were promising. Participants experienced no adverse reactions and our tests indicated that the drug significantly reduces inflammation. It is too early to tell whether this will translate into reduced pain and tissue damage. But we remain cautiously optimistic." The Phase I results were published as the cover article in th
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Contact: Bonnie Ward
contact@liai.org
619-303-3160
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Source:Eurekalert

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