Drug offers first potential treatment for common anaemia

28 August 2014

A new drug that is designed to control the body's iron supply could potentially be used to treat anaemia or inflammation.

These findings, which are published in 'Blood', the journal of the American Society of Hematology, are the results of the first human study that was conducted by the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Anaemia occurs when red blood cells are in short supply, which means the body does not get the levels of oxygen it needs as there are less vessels to carry iron-rich protein haemoglobin and distribute oxygen throughout the body. 

The current treatment for anaemia of inflammation - the most common form of the condition -  targets the underlying disease or infection but research has tried to find other options for patients whose inflammation is difficult to control or when the cause is unknown. 

Lexaptepid pegol (lexaptepid) limits hepcidin, which is responsible for regulating iron levels, and therefore allows iron to be carried to the bloodstream. The team tested lexaptepid in 24 healthy male adults and randomised them to receive lexaptepid or placebo and found that it helped to maintain iron levels. 

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 

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