Icatibant in hereditary angioedema: news and challenges

Laurence Bouillet
Expert Review of Clinical Immunology 2011, 7 (3): 267-72
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare condition. Its prognosis depends on whether there is laryngeal involvement with a risk of asphyxia, which is present in 25% of such cases. Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease has resulted in the development of targeted therapies including icatibant, which acts as an antagonist at bradykinin B2 receptors. This agent has been shown to be effective in the treatment of attacks of HAE in three Phase III randomized double-blind published studies. Efficacy data have been collected in all types of attack: cutaneous, abdominal and laryngeal. Safety data are also encouraging. Icatibant is administered subcutaneously, with the potential for patients to self-administer. In the future, this therapy may offer increased independence for HAE patients.

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