Protease inhibitors in the treatment of hereditary angioedema

Deficiency of C1 Inhibitor leads to unopposed activation of complement, with localized, unpredictable, and sometimes life-threatening attacks of angioedema. Treatment with plasma-derived C1 Inhibitor rapidly aborts attacks, and may be lifesaving, but is expensive, requires use of a pooled blood product, may need to be repeated and may not be effective in autoantibody mediated angioedema. The antifibrinolytic agents aprotinin, tranexamic acid, and epsilon-aminocaproic acid are useful for prophylaxis and treatment of angioedema, likely by inhibiting plasmin. Specific drugs to replace the deficient C1 Inh have not been reported. The kallikrein inhibitor DX-88 (Dyax) has received orphan drug status in Europe and is undergoing clinical trial in Europe and the USA. [References: 98].


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