Herbert Opitz

Novartis, Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland

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Publications (5)19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Accurate measurement of liver storage iron is important for the management of iron overload from regular red blood cell transfusion therapy. In clinical trials testing iron chelator efficacy in iron overloaded patients, with different centers involved, it is mandatory to standardize the procedures of liver iron concentration (LIC) measurements. The agreement (precision and bias) of the SQUID biosusceptometer in Oakland/USA (CHO) and Torino/Italy (TOR) was evaluated in comparison to the validated System in Hamburg/Germany (UKE). In a blinded round-robin test, liver iron concentrations were quantified within 1 month by the 3 SQUID biosusceptometer systems, in 20 patients with thalassemia, sickle cell disease or CDA type-1 and in 10 normal subjects. Mean LIC values were determined from 5 vertical scans at each of two, different positions. Prediction of LIC at CHO and TOR in comparison with UKE was excellent, with coefficients of determination between sites of R 2 = 0.97, resulting in inter-site standard deviations of 276 and 315 μg/g liver, respectively. A significant proportional underestimation of 27% was noted for the TOR system. A systematically lower skin-liver distance of 1.0 mm at the TOR site could only account for 10% of the underestimated LIC. Intra-site precision was within an acceptable range for repeated measurements in the majority of iron overloaded subjects.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2007 · International Congress Series
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    ABSTRACT: Iron chelation therapy (ICT) with deferoxamine (DFO), the current standard for the treatment of iron overload in patients with transfusion-dependent disorders such as beta-thalassemia, requires regular subcutaneous or intravenous infusions. This can lead to reduced quality of life and poor adherence, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality in iron-overloaded patients with beta-thalassemia. Deferasirox is an orally administered iron chelator that has been approved for use in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries. This analysis was conducted to compare patient-reported outcomes (PROs) during receipt of DFO infusions or once-daily oral therapy with deferasirox (ICL670). PROs were prospectively evaluated as part of a randomized, Phase III study comparing the efficacy and safety profile of DFO 20 to 60 mg/kg per day with those of deferasirox 5 to 30 mg/kg per day in patients (age > or =2 years) with beta-thalassemia who were receiving regular transfusions and had a liver iron concentration of > or =2 mg/g dry weight. PRO questionnaires were completed by patients or a parent or legal guardian at baseline, week 4, week 24, and end of study (EOS). Patients assessed their level of satisfaction with study treatment (very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied) and rated its convenience (very convenient, convenient, neutral, inconvenient, or very inconvenient). Time lost from normal activities due to ICT in the previous 4 weeks was recorded using a single global assessment. At week 4, patients who had previous experience with DFO were asked to indicate their preference for treatment (ICT received before the study, ICT received during the study, no preference, or no response) and the reason for that preference. At EOS, all patients were asked if they would be willing to continue using the ICT they had received during the study. All study analyses were performed in all patients who received at least 1 dose of study medication. Five hundred eighty-six patients (304 females, 282 males; age range, 2-53 years) received treatment with DFO (n = 290) or deferasirox (n = 296). Significantly more patients treated with deferasirox reported being very satisfied or satisfied with treatment compared with those treated with DFO (week 4: 92.0% vs 50.4%, respectively; week 24: 89.6% vs 44.0%; EOS: 85.1% vs 38.7%; all, P < 0.001). At the same time points, the majority of those treated with deferasirox reported that treatment was very convenient or convenient compared with those treated with DFO (95.5% vs 21.3%, 91.7% vs 17.4%, and 92.7% vs 11.3%, respectively; all, P < 0.001). Among patients who had previously taken DFO and were randomized to receive deferasirox during the study, 96.9% reported a preference for deferasirox over DFO. At EOS, the proportion of patients indicating a willingness to continue study therapy was significantly greater in those receiving deferasirox than in those receiving DFO (85.8% vs 13.8%; P < 0.001). In this study, patient-reported satisfaction and convenience were significantly higher for the once-daily, oral ICT deferasirox than for DFO infusions. Among patients who had received DFO before the study, the majority indicated a preference for deferasirox over DFO. Most patients receiving deferasirox indicated that they would be willing to continue taking it. These results suggest that deferasirox had a positive impact on patients' daily lives.
    No preview · Article · May 2007 · Clinical Therapeutics
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    ABSTRACT: Iron accumulation is an inevitable consequence of chronic blood transfusions and results in serious complications in the absence of chelation treatment to remove excess iron. Deferoxamine (Desferal, DFO) reduces morbidity and mortality although the administration schedule of slow, parenteral infusions several days each week limits compliance and negatively affects long-term outcome. Deferasirox (Exjade, ICL670) is an oral chelator with high iron-binding potency and selectivity. In a phase II study, the tolerability and efficacy of deferasirox were compared with those of DFO in 71 adults with transfusional hemosiderosis. Patients were randomized to receive once-daily deferasirox (10 or 20 mg/kg; n=24 in both groups) or DFO (40 mg/kg, 5 days/week; n=23) for 48 weeks. Results. Both treatments were well tolerated and no patient discontinued deferasirox due to drug-related adverse events. The reported frequency of transient, mild to moderate gastrointestinal disturbances was higher in the deferasirox group than in the DFO group, but these disturbances settled spontaneously without dose interruption in all patients. Decreases in liver iron concentration (LIC) were comparable in the deferasirox 20 mg/kg/day and DFO groups; baseline values of 8.5 and 7.9 mg Fe/g dw fell to 6.6 and 5.9 mg Fe/g dw, respectively, by week 48. Deferasirox showed a plasma elimination half-life of 8-16 hours, supporting its once-daily administration. Deferasirox at daily doses of 10 or 20 mg/kg was well tolerated and, at 20 mg/kg, showed similar efficacy to DFO 40 mg/kg in terms of decreases in LIC.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Haematologica
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    ABSTRACT: Deferasirox (ICL670) is a once-daily oral iron chelator developed for the treatment of chronic iron overload from blood transfusions. A comparative phase 3 trial was conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of deferasirox in regularly transfused patients with beta-thalassemia aged 2 years or older. Patients were randomized and received treatment with deferasirox (n = 296) or deferoxamine (n = 290), with dosing of each according to baseline liver iron concentration (LIC). The primary endpoint was maintenance or reduction of LIC; secondary endpoints included safety and tolerability, change in serum ferritin level, and net body iron balance. In both arms, patients with LIC values of 7 mg Fe/g dry weight (dw) or higher had significant and similar dose-dependent reductions in LIC and serum ferritin, and effects on net body iron balance. However, the primary endpoint was not met in the overall population, possibly due to the fact that proportionally lower doses of deferasirox relative to deferoxamine were administered to patients with LIC values less than 7 mg Fe/g dw. The most common adverse events included rash, gastrointestinal disturbances, and mild nonprogressive increases in serum creatinine. No agranulocytosis, arthropathy, or growth failure was associated with deferasirox administration. Deferasirox is a promising once-daily oral therapy for the treatment of transfusional iron overload.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2006 · Blood

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