(Reuters) – Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday its experimental drug for a blood disorder showed greater improvement in patients’ hemoglobin levels than Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc’s Soliris, in a late-stage study.
The study tested Apellis’ pegcetacoplan in 80 paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) patients who remained anemic despite taking Soliris. About half of them were even dependant on blood transfusions to maintain optimal hemoglobin levels.
The trial results would help Apellis challenge Alexion’s dominance in the PNH market. Alexion’s Soliris and Ultomiris, the only two currently approved drugs for PNH, recorded sales of $1.08 billion in the latest September quarter.
PNH is a rare, life-threatening disorder associated with abnormally low hemoglobin levels due to the destruction of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, making patients dependant on frequent blood transfusions.
About 70% of PNH patients show low hemoglobin levels despite treatment…
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