Efficacy and safety of the Gardos channel blocker, senicapoc (ICA-17043), in patients with sickle cell anemia.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB no. 7305, 3009 Old Clinic Bldg, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7305, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 9.78). 04/2008; 111(8):3991-7. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2007-08-110098
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Senicapoc, a novel Gardos channel inhibitor, limits solute and water loss, thereby preserving sickle red blood cell (RBC) hydration. Because hemoglobin S polymerization is profoundly influenced by intracellular hemoglobin concentration, senicapoc could improve sickle RBC survival. In a 12-week, multicenter, phase 2, randomized, double-blind, dose-finding study, we evaluated senicapoc's safety and its effect on hemoglobin level and markers of RBC hemolysis in sickle cell anemia patients. The patients were randomized into 3 treatment arms: placebo; low-dose (6 mg/day) senicapoc; and high-dose (10 mg/day) senicapoc. For the primary efficacy end point (change in hemoglobin level from baseline), the mean response to high-dose senicapoc treatment exceeded placebo (6.8 g/L [0.68 g/dL] vs 0.1 g/L [0.01 g/dL], P < .001). Treatment with high-dose senicapoc also produced significant decreases in such secondary end points as percentage of dense RBCs (-2.41 vs -0.08, P < .001); reticulocytes (-4.12 vs -0.46, P < .001); lactate dehydrogenase (-121 U/L vs -15 U/L, P = .002); and indirect bilirubin (-1.18 mg/dL vs 0.12 mg/dL, P < .001). Finally, senicapoc was safe and well tolerated. The increased hemoglobin concentration and concomitant decrease in the total number of reticulocytes and various markers of RBC destruction following senicapoc administration suggests a possible increase in the survival of sickle RBCs. This study is registered at as NCT00040677.

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    ABSTRACT: Red blood cell (RBC) hydration is regulated in part by the Ca(2+) -activated K(+) efflux (Gardos) channel. Senicapoc selectively blocks potassium efflux through the Gardos channel, reducing RBC dehydration and haemolysis, and increasing haemoglobin levels in sickle cell disease (SCD). This randomized, placebo-controlled trial was designed to determine the safety and clinical efficacy of senicapoc in SCD patients. One hundred and forty-five patients were randomized to receive senicapoc and 144 patients to receive placebo for 52 weeks. Consistent with a previous study, patients in the senicapoc group had significantly increased haematocrit, haemoglobin, and decreased numbers of both dense erythrocytes and reticulocytes when compared to the placebo group. The unblinded Data Monitoring Committee terminated this study early due to a lack of efficacy when it determined that, despite improvements in anaemia and haemolysis, no significant improvement in the rate of sickle cell painful crises was observed in patients treated with senicapoc compared to those on placebo (0·38 vs. 0·31, respectively). Comparisons of the times to first, second and third crises between the senicapoc and placebo groups were not statistically significant. Nausea and urinary tract infections occurred more frequently in the senicapoc group than placebo. Serious adverse events were similar in the two groups.
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