BACKGROUND: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a genetic disorder resulting from low levels of C1-inhibitor activity that manifests as acute attacks of variable and sometimes life-threatening edema. Ecallantide is a novel potent inhibitor of human plasma kallikrein, a key mediator of the excessive formation of bradykinin associated with the signs and symptoms of an HAE attack.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of ecallantide in the treatment of acute HAE attacks.
METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients with a moderate to severe HAE attack were randomized 1:1 to receive 30 mg of subcutaneous ecallantide or placebo. The primary efficacy end point was change from baseline in mean symptom complex severity score 4 hours after dosing. Additional end points included treatment outcome score 4 hours after dosing and maintenance of significant overall improvement through 24 hours.
RESULTS: Ninety-six patients were enrolled. Mean (SD) change from baseline in mean symptom complex severity score 4 hours after dosing was significantly greater with ecallantide use (-0.8 [0.6]) compared with placebo use (-0.4 [0.8]) (P = .01 comparing distributions). Ecallantide therapy was also associated with a significantly larger mean (SD) treatment outcome score 4 hours after dosing vs placebo use (ecallantide: 53.4 [49.7]; placebo: 8.1 [63.2]; P = .003 comparing distributions). The benefit of ecallantide was apparent within 2 hours after dosing and was maintained through 24 hours after dosing. The safety profile was similar between the treatment groups.
CONCLUSION: Ecallantide appears to be an effective and safe treatment for acute attacks of HAE.