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Blood. 2005 Oct 1;106(7):2559-65. Epub 2005 Jun 28.

Sustained response and long-term safety of eculizumab in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, LS1 3EX, United Kingdom.


Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a hematologic disorder characterized by clonal expansion of red blood cells (RBCs) lacking the ability to inhibit complement-mediated hemolysis. Eculizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds the C5 complement protein, blocks serum hemolytic activity. This study evaluated the long-term safety and efficacy of eculizumab in 11 patients with PNH during an open-label extension trial. After completion of an initial 12-week study, all patients chose to participate in the 52-week extension study. Eculizumab, administered at 900 mg every 12 to 14 days, was sufficient to completely and consistently block complement activity in all patients. A dramatic reduction in hemolysis was maintained throughout the study, with a decrease in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels from 3110.7 IU/L before treatment to 622.4 IU/L (P = .002). The proportion of PNH type III RBCs increased from 36.7% at baseline to 58.4% (P = .005). The paroxysm rate of days with gross evidence of hemoglobinuria per patient each month decreased from 3.0 during screening to 0.2 (P < .001) during treatment. The median transfusion rate decreased from 1.8 U per patient each month before eculizumab treatment to 0.3 U per patient each month (P = .001) during treatment. Statistically significant improvements in quality-of-life measures were also maintained during the extension study. Eculizumab continued to be safe and well tolerated, and all patients completed the study. The close relationship between sustained terminal complement inhibition, hemolysis, and symptoms was demonstrated.

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