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New Therapies for hemophilia

Angela C. Weyand and Steven W. Pipe

Abstract

Hemophilia A (HA) and Hemophilia B (HB) are the most common severe bleeding disorders. Replacement therapy, providing the missing coagulation factor, has been the mainstay of treatment both prophylactically and to treat bleeding. Despite widespread availability of safe and effective replacement therapy, patients with HA and HB continue to experience a tremendous burden of treatment, breakthrough bleeding, progressive joint disease, and high rates of inhibitor development. These remaining challenges are now being addressed by incredible advances in bioengineering. Recombinant bioengineering has led to replacement therapies with easier modes of administration, decreased immunogenicity, increased efficacy and extended half-lives. Emicizumab, a bispecific antibody which acts as a substitutive therapy for HA, has been approved for patients with and without inhibitors. Novel compounds are in development to exploit the natural balance of hemostasis by targeting the natural anticoagulants protein C, protein S, tissue factor pathway inhibitor, and antithrombin. The substitution and re-balancing therapies provide an opportunity for steady state hemostatic control without exposure to immunogenic clotting factor proteins. As such, they may have broader applications outside those being investigated in the clinical trial programs.

  • Submitted August 30, 2018.
  • Accepted November 13, 2018.