New therapies using nonfactor products for patients with hemophilia and inhibitors

Keiji Nogami and Midori Shima


Regular prophylaxis with factor VIII (FVIII) or FIX products to prevent bleeding in patients with severe hemophilia A (HA) and HB, respectively, results in marked suppression of the onset of arthropathy and contributes greatly to improvements in quality of life. Some issues remain with the use of clotting factor replacement therapy, however. The need for multiple IV infusions is associated with a substantial mental and physical burden, and the hemostatic effect of bypassing agents (BPAs) in patients with inhibitor is inconsistent. The development of subcutaneous products with prolonged hemostatic efficiency, irrespective of the presence of inhibitors, has been a longtime wish for patients. A new class of therapeutic agents that act by enhancing coagulation (emicizumab) and inhibiting anticoagulant pathways (fitusiran and concizumab) have been established, and clinical trials using these nonfactor products are ongoing. The current findings have demonstrated that prophylaxis by nonfactor products supports marked reductions of bleeding episodes in hemophilia patients with or without inhibitor. Emicizumab has already been approved for use internationally. Some concerns are evident, however. Thrombotic microangiopathy and thromboembolism have occurred in 5 emicizumab-treated patients receiving repeated infusions of activated prothrombin complex concentrates, and a sinus vein thrombosis has occurred in a fitusiran-treated patient receiving repeated infusions of FVIII product. Moreover, reliable techniques to monitor hemostatic function in patients receiving nonfactor products with concomitant BPA or FVIII/FIX therapies require further assessment. These novel therapeutic agents have promising hemostatic properties, although wider experience in hemophilia centers is warranted to establish appropriate therapeutic strategies.

  • Submitted July 12, 2018.
  • Accepted September 28, 2018.
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