2019 E-News

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PDSA e-News: December 30, 2019


Innovative ITP Research from the 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting

Dr. James Bussel speaking at the PDSA meetingThis year’s 2019 ASH meeting, held December 7-10 in Orlando (Florida), attracted over 30,000 clinicians, scientists, pharmaceutical company personnel and even investment analysts worldwide to share ground-breaking research in the field of hematology. The conference included the annual ITP breakfast meeting, coordinated by PDSA and four of PDSA’s Medical Advisors, Dr. James Bussel, Dr. Nichola Cooper, Dr. Michele Lambert and Dr. John Semple. Thirteen hematology experts were invited to present their leading-edge ITP research. In this issue of the e-news, we report on experimental therapies for ITP for which updates on or new clinical trials were presented. Watch for additional ASH reports in the 2019 winter issue of The Platelet News, the PDSA quarterly newsletter.

The ASH abstract numbers are shown in parentheses. You can search on the number and read the complete abstract at: https://ashpublications.org/blood/issue/134/Supplement_1.

Abstracts 1 and 2 describe a novel mechanism to increase the platelet count in ITP that also might have application to other diseases. These two studies evaluate a novel method to treat ITP using molecules that target and bind to the so-called neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn). The drugs are designed to increase IgG clearance by blocking normal IgG recycling in the body. IgG antibodies normally may remain in the blood for thirty days but, when recycling is blocked, they may only last about five days. This is important because when you lower all IgG molecules, you also lower IgG antibodies to platelets. These IgG anti-platelet antibodies accelerate platelet clearance and destruction, and also interfere with proper platelet production. Therefore, it would be expected that lowering IgG levels will equally lower IgG anti-platelet antibody levels which will increase platelet count in patients with ITP.

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