ll within that range after six weeks on the therapy.
"In fact, three of these patients saw their counts rise to over 450,000 per cubic millimeter," Dr. Bussel notes.
Platelet counts increased in treated patients in a dose-dependent fashion, with mean peak counts of 163,000, 309,000 and 746,000 per cubic millimeter for doses of 3, 6 and 10 micrograms/kilogram, respectively.
"This was a relatively small trial, so more study is needed. However, the results point to a new, effective and safe way of letting people receive an injection once a week that stimulates them to increase their platelets," Dr. Bussel says.
How does AMG 531 work? According to the researchers, the drug acts much like natural thrombopoietin, stimulating the production of platelets from their earliest stages of development within the marrow, straight through to their appearance in the bloodstream.
Based on the findings, Dr. Bussel is optimistic that ITP patients everywhere will soon have a potent new weapon against the disease.
"Further clinical trials in AMG 531 are well under way," he says, "and the next step, we hope, will be to license the compound. Then, maybe, we can begin to broaden its use to other illnesses, where boosting platelets might help the many other patients with low platelets fight disease."
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