CHICAGO, June 04, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Investigators reported today that Soliris(TM) (eculizumab), a new treatment for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) developed by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , is effective in patients diagnosed with PNH who have a history of aplastic anemia (AA) or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Soliris significantly reduced red blood cell destruction (hemolysis), decreased or eliminated blood transfusion requirements, improved fatigue and quality-of- life outcomes, and reduced thrombotic events in PNH patients who have a history of either one of these bone marrow disorders, according to an analysis of Phase III data presented today at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
"A growing body of evidence shows that all PNH patients have the potential to realize meaningful improvement with Soliris, regardless of symptoms, history of bone marrow failure, or transfusion needs prior to treatment," said Leonard Bell, MD, chief executive officer of Alexion Pharmaceuticals. "We believe these data will increase awareness of PNH among oncologists who specialize in bone marrow disorders and give them confidence to treat PNH patients with Soliris."
Alexion also announced today the expansion of an ongoing study to examine the frequency of PNH in patients with AA, MDS and other bone marrow disorders. Alexion now plans to enroll up to 10,000 patients in the EXPLORE trial (EXamination of PNH, by Level Of CD59 on Red and white blood cells, in bone marrow failure syndromes). Since beginning the EXPLORE trial in June 2006 with an initial target of 2,000 patients, Alexion has enrolled 1,500 patients.
"People with bone marrow disorders like AA and MDS are more
likely to suffer from PNH," said Dr. Hugo Castro-Malaspina,
Division of Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematology Services at