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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2017 Mar;63:62-65. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2017.01.008. Epub 2017 Jan 16.

The targeted eosinophil-lowering effects of dexpramipexole in clinical studies.

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Knopp Biosciences, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Electronic address:
Knopp Biosciences, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Biogen Idec, Boston, MA, USA.


Dexpramipexole, an orally bioavailable small molecule previously under clinical development in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was observed during routine safety hematology monitoring to demonstrate pronounced, dose- and time-dependent eosinophil-lowering effects, with minor reductions on other leukocyte counts. Analysis of hematology lab values across two double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials at total daily doses ranging from 50mg to 300mg demonstrated that dexpramipexole consistently and markedly lowered peripheral blood eosinophils. This effect developed after 1month on treatment, required 3-4months to reach its maximum, remained constant throughout treatment, and partially recovered to baseline levels upon drug withdrawal. All doses tested were well tolerated. The overall adverse event rate was similar for dexpramipexole and placebo, and notably with no increase in infection-related adverse events associated with eosinophil-lowering effects. Given the reliance on and insufficiency of off-label chronic corticosteroid therapy for hypereosinophilic syndromes and other eosinophilic-associated diseases (EADs), a need exists for less toxic, more effective, targeted therapeutic alternatives. Further clinical studies are underway to assess the eosinophil-lowering effect of dexpramipexole in the peripheral blood and target tissues of EAD patients and whether such reductions, if observed, produce clinically important benefits.


Basophils; Eosinophil-associated disorders; Eosinophilia; Eosinophils; Eosinopoiesis

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