Article

The new generation of intravenous iron: chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology of ferric carboxymaltose.

Vifor (International) Inc., St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Arzneimittel-Forschung (Impact Factor: 0.51). 01/2010; 60(6a):345-53. DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1296299
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An ideal preparation for intravenous iron replacement therapy should balance effectiveness and safety. Compounds that release iron rapidly tend to cause toxicity, while large molecules can induce antibody formation and cause anaphylactic reactions. There is therefore a need for an intravenous iron preparation that delivers appropriate amounts of iron in a readily available form but with minimal side effects and thus with an excellent safety profile. In this paper, a review is given on the chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology of ferric carboxymaltose (FCM, Ferinject), a stable and robust complex formulated as a colloidal solution with a physiological pH. The complex is gradually taken up mainly from the hepatic reticulo-endothelial system (RES), followed by effective delivery of iron to the endogeneous transport system for the haem synthesis in new erythrocytes, as shown in studies on the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics with radio-labelled FCM. Studies with radio-labelled FCM also demonstrated a barrier function of the placenta and a low transfer of iron into the milk of lactating rats. Safety pharmacology studies indicated a favourable profile with regard to cardiovascular, central nervous, respiratory, and renal toxicity. A high maximum non-lethal dose was demonstrated in the single-dose toxicity studies. Furthermore, based on the No-Observed-Adverse-Effect-Levels (NOAELs) found in repeated-dose toxicity studies and on the cumulative doses administered, FCM has good safety margins. Reproductive and developmental toxicity studies did not reveal any direct or indirect harmful effects. No genotoxic potential was found in in vitro or in vivo studies. Moreover, antigenicity studies showed no cross-reactivity of FMC with anti-dextran antibodies and also suggested that FCM does not possess sensitizing potential. Lastly, no evidence of irritation was found in local tolerance studies with FCM. This excellent toxicity profile and the high effectiveness of FCM allow the administration of high doses as a single infusion or bolus injection, which will enhance the cost-effectiveness and convenience of iron replacement therapy. In conclusion, FCM has many of the characteristics of an ideal intravenous iron preparation.

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    ABSTRACT: Background. Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a common hematological complication with potentially serious clinical consequences that may require intravenous iron therapy. Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) is a stable, nondextran iron formulation administered intravenously in large single doses to treat IDA. Objective. Two open-label, randomized, placebo-controlled trials evaluated safety of multiple or single 750 mg FCM doses compared to standard medical care (SMC) in IDA patients. Secondary endpoints were improvements in hemoglobin and iron indices. Design and Patients. Adults with hemoglobin ≤12 g/dL, ferritin ≤100 or ≤300 ng/mL with transferrin saturation ≤30% were randomized to receive single (n = 366) or weekly (n = 343) FCM or SMC (n = 360 and n = 366). Results. Significantly greater (P ≤ 0.001) increases in hemoglobin and iron indices occurred in FCM groups versus SMC. In the multidose study, up to two infusions of FCM were needed to reach target iron levels versus 3-5 of intravenous iron comparators. FCM and SMC groups had similar incidences and types of adverse events and serious adverse events. Transient hypophosphatemia not associated with adverse events or clinical sequelae occurred in the FCM groups. Conclusion. Intravenous FCM is safe, well tolerated, and associated with improvements in hemoglobin and iron indices comparable to SMC when administered in single doses of up to 750 mg at a rate of 100 mg/min. Fewer FCM infusions were required to reach target iron levels compared to other intravenous iron preparations.
    Anemia 01/2012; 2012:172104. DOI:10.1155/2012/172104
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    ABSTRACT: Ferric carboxymaltose (Ferinject(R)), a novel iron complex that consists of a ferric hydroxide core stabilized by a carbohydrate shell, allows for controlled delivery of iron to target tissues. Administered intravenously, it is effective in the treatment of iron-deficiency anaemia, delivering a replenishment dose of up to 1000 mg of iron during a minimum administration time of </=15 minutes. Results of several randomized trials have shown that intravenously administered ferric carboxymaltose rapidly improves haemoglobin levels and replenishes depleted iron stores in various populations of patients with iron-deficiency anaemia, including those with inflammatory bowel disease, heavy uterine bleeding, postpartum iron-deficiency anaemia or chronic kidney disease. It was well tolerated in clinical trials. Ferric carboxymaltose is, therefore, an effective option in the treatment of iron-deficiency anaemia in patients for whom oral iron preparations are ineffective or cannot be administered. Ferric carboxymaltose is a macromolecular ferric hydroxide carbohydrate complex, which allows for controlled delivery of iron within the cells of the reticuloendothelial system and subsequent delivery to the iron-binding proteins ferritin and transferrin, with minimal risk of release of large amounts of ionic iron in the serum. Intravenous administration of ferric carboxymaltose results in transient elevations in serum iron, serum ferritin and transferrin saturation, and, ultimately, in the correction of haemoglobin levels and replenishment of depleted iron stores. The total iron concentration in the serum increased rapidly in a dose-dependent manner after intravenous administration of ferric carboxymaltose. Ferric carboxymaltose is rapidly cleared from the circulation and is distributed primarily to the bone marrow ( approximately 80%) and also to the liver and spleen. Repeated weekly administration of ferric carboxymaltose does not result in accumulation of transferrin iron in patients with iron-deficiency anaemia. Intravenously administered ferric carboxymaltose was effective in the treatment of iron-deficiency anaemia in several 6- to 12-week, randomized, open-label, controlled, multicentre trials in various patient populations, including those with inflammatory bowel disease, heavy uterine bleeding or postpartum iron-deficiency anaemia, and those with chronic kidney disease not undergoing or undergoing haemodialysis. In most trials, patients received either ferric carboxymaltose equivalent to an iron dose of </=1000 mg (or 15 mg/kg in those weighing <66 kg) administered over </=15 minutes (subsequent doses administered at 1-week intervals) or oral ferrous sulfate at a dose equivalent to 65 mg iron three times daily or 100 mg iron twice daily. In one trial, patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing haemodialysis received 200 mg of iron intravenously either as ferric carboxymaltose or iron sucrose administered into the haemodialysis line two to three times weekly. In all trials, ferric carboxymaltose was administered until each patient had received his or her calculated total iron replacement dose. Haemoglobin-related outcomes improved in patients with iron-deficiency anaemia receiving ferric carboxymaltose. Treatment with ferric carboxymaltose was associated with rapid and sustained increases from baseline in haemoglobin levels. Ferric carboxymaltose was considered to be as least as effective as ferrous sulfate with regard to changes from baseline in haemoglobin levels or the proportion of patients achieving a haematopoietic response at various timepoints. In general, improvements in haemoglobin levels were more rapid with ferric carboxymaltose than with ferrous sulfate. In patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing haemodialysis, ferric carboxymaltose was at least as effective as iron sucrose. Ferric carboxymaltose also replenished depleted iron stores and improved health-related quality-of-life (HR-QOL) in patients with iron-deficiency anaemia. Recipients of ferric carboxymaltose demonstrated improvements from baseline in serum ferritin levels and transferrin saturation, as well as improvements from baseline in HR-QOL assessment scores. Ferric carboxymaltose was at least as effective as ferrous sulfate with regard to endpoints related to serum ferritin levels, transferrin saturation and HR-QOL. Ferric carboxymaltose was well tolerated in clinical trials in patients with iron-deficiency anaemia, with most drug-related adverse events considered to be mild to moderate in severity. Commonly reported drug-related adverse events include headache, dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, rash and injection-site reactions. The incidence of drug-related adverse events in patients receiving intravenous ferric carboxymaltose was generally similar to that in patients receiving oral ferrous sulfate. In general, rash and local injection-site reactions were more common with ferric carboxymaltose, whereas gastrointestinal adverse events were more frequent with ferrous sulfate. In patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing haemodialysis, a lower proportion of ferric carboxymaltose than iron sucrose recipients experienced at least one drug-related adverse event.
    Drugs 01/2009; 69(6):739-56. DOI:10.1007/s40265-014-0332-3 · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) represents a major burden to public health worldwide. The therapeutic aim for patients with IDA is to return iron stores and haemoglobin (Hb) levels to within the normal range using supplemental iron therapy and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents. Oral and previous intravenous (i.v.) iron formulations have a number of disadvantages, including immunogenic reactions, oxidative stress, low dosages, long administration times and the requirement for a test dose. Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM, Ferinject) is a novel, next-generation i.v. iron formulation with the potential to overcome these limitations. In this single-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), safety and tolerability of single, escalating doses of FCM were investigated. Four ascending doses were investigated in a total of 24 patients with mild IDA (defined as serum ferritin < 20 microg/l and transferrin saturation [TfS] < 16%): 100 mg iron as FCM given as an i.v. bolus injection, and 500, 800 and 1000 mg iron as FCM given as an i.v. infusion over 15 min. At each dose level six patients received FCM and two received placebo. The decision to escalate to the next dose was based on evaluation of safety and tolerability data from the previous dose. The maximum duration of the study was 5 weeks from screening to final assessment. Assessments were made of PK iron-status parameters up to 168 h post-dose. Safety assessments included incidence of adverse events (AEs), clinical laboratory parameters and vital signs. PK and PD parameters were analysed using descriptive statistics. All analyses were performed on the safety population, which included all patients who received > or = 1 dose of study medication. Seventy-seven patients were screened and, of these, 32 male and female patients with pre-study Hb between 9.2 and 11.9 g/dl and serum ferritin < 20 microg/l were included in the study. Two patients had TfS > 16% (19.2% and 17.2%); both patients were considered by the investigator to be eligible for inclusion. Compared with placebo, a rapid, dose-dependent increase in total serum iron was observed across all dose groups. Mean (standard deviation) maximum total serum iron levels ranged between 36.9 (4.4) and 317.9 (42.3) microg/ml in the 100 and 1000 mg groups. Concentration-time curves of total serum iron continuously declined for up to 24 and 72 h post-dose in the 100 and 500-1000 mg groups, respectively. Non-compartmental analysis of PK parameters was truncated at 24 h (100 mg) and 72 h (500-1000 mg doses). A dose-dependent, but not dose-linear, increase in serum ferritin was seen in all treatment groups compared with placebo, with peak levels of a 23-210-fold increase above baseline occurring 48-120 h postdose. Iron-binding capacity was transiently almost fully utilized after doses of 500, 800 and 1000 mg (TfS > 95%). No meaningful changes in serum transferrin or serum transferrin receptor concentrations were observed during this study. The elimination pattern for FCM appeared to be mono-exponential; FCM was cleared from serum with a terminal halflife of approximately 7.4-12.1 h. The percentage of FCM excreted in urine was negligible (0.0005%). FCM was well tolerated; a total of 19 AEs were reported by 8/32 patients (25%), of which three were considered by the investigator to be related to FCM: nausea and vomiting (one patient [100 mg]), and headache (one patient [1000 mg]). The incidence of AEs did not increase with dose. No severe or serious AEs, or deaths occurred. FCM had no significant effect on laboratory safety parameters or vital signs. This study satisfactorily characterized the PK/PD parameters of single doses of 100, 500, 800 and 1000 mg iron as FCM. The majority of FCM was utilized or eliminated within 24 h of administration of a 100 mg dose and within 72 h of a 500-1000 mg dose. FCM was generally well tolerated across all doses in patients with mild IDA.
    Arzneimittel-Forschung 01/2010; 60(6a):362-72. DOI:10.1055/s-0031-1296301 · 0.51 Impact Factor