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FDA Approves Soliris for Rare Pediatric Blood Disorder
Date:9/23/2011

s in these studies experienced a favorable improvement in kidney function, including elimination of the requirement for dialysis in several patients with aHUS that did not respond to plasma therapy. Patients treated with Soliris also exhibited improvement in platelet counts and other blood parameters that correlate with aHUS disease activity.

The most common side effects seen in patients treated with Soliris for aHUS included high blood pressure (hypertension), diarrhea, headache, anemia, vomiting, nausea, upper respiratory and urinary tract infections, and a decrease in white blood cells (leukopenia).

This new indication for Soliris is being approved with an extension of the existing Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), to inform health care professionals and patients about the known risk of life-threatening meningococcal infections.

Soliris will continue to be available only through a restricted program, and prescribers must enroll in a registration program and provide a medication guide to patients who receive the drug.

Soliris was reviewed under the FDA's priority review program, which provides for an expedited six-month review of drugs that may offer major advances in treatment or that provide a treatment when no adequate therapy exists.

The therapy also is being approved under the FDA's accelerated approval program, designed to provide patients with earlier access to promising new drugs followed by further studies to confirm the drug's clinical benefit.

The accelerated approval program allows the agency to approve a drug to treat a serious disease based on clinical data showing that the drug has an effect on an endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict a clinical benefit to patients, or on an effect on a clinical endpoint other than survival or irreversible morbidity.

Soliris is marketed by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in Cheshire, Conn.

For more information:

FDA: Office of Hematology
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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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