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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2002 Dec;2(8):977-84.

Darbepoetin alfa: a new therapy for the management of anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease.

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Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 1514 Jefferson Highway, New Orleans, LA 70121, USA.


Darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp, Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California) is a new erythropoietic protein that corrects anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the majority of patients. Darbepoetin alfa contains five N-linked carbohydrate chains compared with three in recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO). The two additional sialic acid-containing carbohydrate chains prolong the serum half-life of darbepoetin alfa, resulting in greater biological activity and a reduced dosing frequency compared with rHuEPO. Clinical studies in patients with CKD have demonstrated that darbepoetin alfa is effective in correcting anaemia in rHuEPO-naive patients and in patients who have been converted from rHuEPO therapy. Darbepoetin alfa provides long-term maintenance of haemoglobin levels when administered once weekly or once every other week, with the possibility of once-monthly dosing in some patients. Darbepoetin alfa is well tolerated and has a safety profile similar to that of rHuEPO. Owing to its half-life being three times longer than rHuEPO, darbepoetin alfa can be administered at an extended dosing interval, without compromising efficacy. Lessfrequent dosing has potential benefits for both patients with CKD and healthcare providers. These benefits include reduced visits to the clinic, fewer injections and a reduced demand on staff and treatment facilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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