Icatibant for the treatment of hereditary angioedema

Sabrina W Cole, Lisa M Lundquist
Annals of Pharmacotherapy 2013, 47 (1): 49-55

OBJECTIVE: To review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical trials, and safety of icatibant, a recently approved bradykinin B(2) receptor antagonist for treatment of acute attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE).

DATA SOURCES: Articles indexed in MEDLINE (1948-June 2012), International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-May 2012), and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (1981-June 2012) were identified using the search terms icatibant, bradykinin B(2) receptor antagonist, and hereditary angioedema. Additional references were identified from the reference lists of the articles identified.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: English-language articles were reviewed.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Icatibant was evaluated in 3 Phase 3 clinical trials and found to be a safe and effective option for treatment of acute HAE. Icatibant was compared to placebo in 2 clinical trials (FAST-1 and FAST-3) and to tranexamic acid in the FAST-2 trial. Patients receiving icatibant in FAST-1 did not experience a significant improvement in median time to clinically significant relief of the index symptom (p = 0.14), whereas patients receiving icatibant in FAST-3 experienced a significant improvement in median time to at least 50% reduction in symptom severity (p < 0.001). When icatibant was compared to tranexamic acid in FAST-2, the median time to clinically significant relief of the index symptom was shorter for patients receiving icatibant (p < 0.001). The most common adverse events associated with the administration of icatibant were injection-site reactions, which were mild to moderate and transient. These data suggest that icatibant is a safe and effective treatment for acute attacks of HAE. Although direct comparisons of recently approved alternatives for treatment of acute attacks are lacking, there are administration advantages of icatibant over other agents. Additionally, the cost of icatibant is comparable to that of the C1 esterase inhibitor Berinert and less expensive than ecallantide.

CONCLUSIONS: Available efficacy data support that icatibant should be considered a safe and effective treatment for acute attacks of HAE. Additionally, limited treatment options for this rare condition, ease of administration, and comparable cost profile support its consideration for formulary inclusion.

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