On June 22, 2017, the FDA approved Haegarda, the first C1 Esterase Inhibitor (Human) for subcutaneous (under the skin) administration to prevent Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) attacks in adolescent and adult patients. The subcutaneous route of administration allows for easier at-home self-injection by the patient or caregiver, once proper training is received.
HAE, which is caused by having insufficient amounts of a plasma protein called C1-esterase inhibitor (or C1-INH), affects approximately 6,000 to 10,000 people in the U.S. People with HAE can develop rapid swelling of the hands, feet, limbs, face, intestinal tract, or airway. These attacks of swelling can occur spontaneously, or can be triggered by stress, surgery, or infection.
“The approval of Haegarda provides a new treatment option for adolescents and adults with Hereditary Angioedema,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The subcutaneous formulation allows patients to administer the product at home to help prevent attacks.”
Haegarda is a human plasma-derived, purified, pasteurized, lyophilized (freeze-dried) concentrate prepared from large pools of human plasma from U.S. donors. Haegarda is indicated for routine prophylaxis to prevent HAE attacks, but is not indicated for treatment of acute HAE attacks.
The most common side effects included injection site reactions, hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions, nasopharyngitis (swelling of the nasal passages and throat), and dizziness. Haegarda should not be used in individuals who have experienced life-threatening hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, to a C1-INH preparation or its inactive ingredients.
See the FDA Announcement
See also Medical Law Perspectives Report: Drugs, Dosage, and Damage: Physician Liability for Prescribing or Administering Medication