Cinryze as the first approved C1 inhibitor in the USA for the treatment of hereditary angioedema: approval, efficacy and safety

Michael Lunn, Carah Santos, Timothy Craig
Journal of Blood Medicine 2010, 1: 163-70
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a clinical disorder characterized by a deficiency of C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH). HAE has traditionally been divided into two subtypes. Unique among the inherited deficiencies of the complement system, HAE Types I and II are inherited as an autosomal dominant disorder. The generation of an HAE attack is caused by the depletion and/or consumption of C1-inhibitor manifested as subcutaneous or submucosal edema of the upper airway, face, extremities, or gastrointestinal tract. Attacks can be severe and potentially life-threatening, particularly with laryngeal involvement. Despite the availability of C1-INH for the treatment of HAE since the 1980s in Europe and other countries, HAE treatment in the United States was limited to androgen therapy. The human plasma-derived C1 esterase inhibitor (Cinryze™), distributed by Lev Pharmaceuticals, was approved in October 2008 for the prevention of HAE attacks based on the results of a phase III clinical trial. This review aims to describe the history of C1-INH replacement in HAE as well as the pharmacology, efficacy and safety of C1-INH, concentrating on Cinryze as the first approved chronic replacement treatment for the prophylaxis of HAE attacks.

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