CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A recently approved drug might make infusions for hemophiliacs fewer and further between.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Biogen Idec's Eloctate, which clinical trials have shown works to treat bleeding episodes and to increase the time between prophylactic blood infusions for those with hemophilia A, a genetic illness that affects approximately 16,000 Americans.
With Eloctate, prophylactic infusions for hemophiliacs are only necessary every three to five days, a change from most, which are required every other day for those with severe hemophilia A.
Biogen Idec is hoping to make the drug available as soon as July, and the United States is the first country to approve Eloctate, though it's currently under consideration for approval in Australia, Japan and Canada.
Eloctate is the second treatment for hemophilia approved by the FDA this year, following the March approval of Alprolix, which treats hemophilia B and reduces infusion frequency for those patients to once a week.