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Platelet E-News: February 23, 2011

This e-newsletter is a monthly publication of the Platelet Disorder Support Association. The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. For advice on your unique medical condition, please consult a health care professional.

Contents:

ITP Research and Treatments

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

General Health and Medicine

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ITP Research and Treatments

 

GERMAN COMPANY TESTING NOVEL ITP TREATMENT

SuppreMol, headquartered in Munich, is testing SM101, a new treatment for ITP that targets certain receptors on platelets, preventing the attachment of antibodies and untimely platelet destruction. No other ITP treatment on the market or in clinical trials uses this technique. The company has successfully completed a Phase I clinical trial, started a Phase II clinical trial in Europe, and has discussed testing the treatment with the FDA in anticipation of marketing it in the US.

“SuppreMol completes successful pre-IND meeting with U.S. FDA.” The Medical News. January 24, 2010
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20110124/SuppreMol-completes-successful-pre-IND-meeting-with-US-FDA.aspx

http://www.suppremol.com/

 

 

NEW ITP TREATMENT APPROACH SUCCESSFUL IN MICE

Researchers in Canada have been looking for ways to replicate the success of IVIg as a treatment for ITP, but without the cost and need to process large amounts of plasma. After testing a number of different monoclonal antibodies, they found that certain types of CD44 antibodies were effecting in raising the platelets of mice with ITP. The authors suggest that the specific antibodies they found could provide a low-dose, targeted method for treating ITP.

Crow AR et al. “Amelioration of murine immune thrombocytopenia by CD44 antibodies: a potential therapy for ITP?” Blood. 2011 Jan 20;117(3):971-4

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21045192

 

 

 

CHINESE TPO TREATMENT APPROVED FOR ITP

The thrombopoietin (platelet growth factor) product from 3SBio Inc., a China-based biotechnology company, has been approved for chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia since 2006. China’s State Food and Drug Administration has now extended the approval for the treatment of ITP since a clinical trial showed it was a more successful treatment for refractory ITP than the danazol given to the control group.

“3SBio Inc. Receives SFDA Approval for TPIAO Label Extension for the Treatment of ITP.” PR News Wire. January 24, 2011
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/3sbio-inc-receives-sfda-approval-for-tpiao-label-extension-for-the-treatment-of-itp-114520154.html

For more information about thrombopoietin treatments see:
http://www.pdsa.org/treatments/conventional/platelet-growth-factors.html

 

 

PLATELETS FROM STEM CELLS MAY HELP SOLVE PLATELET SHORTAGE

Donated platelets have a short shelf life and are in constant demand, prompting significant shortages. Scientists have now created platelets from human embryonic stem cells that behave just like normal blood in test tubes and in mice. This is an important step in assuring everyone who needs external platelets has access to them.

Lu SJ et al. “Platelets generated from human embryonic stem cells are functional in vitro and in the microcirculation of living mice.” Cell Res. 2011 Jan 11
http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/cr20118a.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21221130

 

 

 

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

PRE-EXISTING INSURANCE PROGRAM GAINS MOMENTUM

The US government has created a new Web site and media materials to provide more information about the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), a special healthcare plan for people with pre-existing conditions who cannot get affordable health insurance in today’s market. Created by the Affordable Care Act, this plan is a temporary measure to address the problem until 2014, when all Americans will have access to affordable health insurance, according to the new healthcare law. PCIP’s enrollment has increased 50% in the past three months, however many people who are eligible are not aware of this opportunity.

For more information about his plan see:
http://www.pcip.gov/

HHS Press Release. “Uninsured Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Continue to Gain Coverage through Affordable Care Act.” February 10, 2011.
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/02/20110210a.html

 

 

DRUG SHORTAGES: AN INCREASING PROBLEM

According to the Institute for Safe Medical Practices and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, there is a serious and increasing shortage of important medications, putting patients at risk. Injectable drugs given in hospitals are in the shortest supply, whereas pills and other medications filled at a local pharmacy are more available. The FDA can help resolve some shortages caused by manufacturing processes, but has no control over shortages caused by business decisions.

Alazraki M. “Drug Shortages: A Deadly Problem With No Cure in Sight.” Daily Finance. January 11, 1011
http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/drug-shortages-a-deadly-problem-with-no-cure-in-sight/19783927/

 

 

 

General Health and Medicine

 

VITAMIN D IMPORTANT FOR HEALTHY BLOOD

According to a new study, vitamin D plays a valuable role in the normal function of hematopoietic stem cells, cells in the bone marrow that give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Scientists in Japan, using sophisticated experiments in mice, were surprised to find that vitamin D was a distinct contributor, along with calcium and the sympathetic nervous system, to the release of hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow.

Kawamori Y et al. “Role for vitamin D receptor in the neuronal control of the hematopoietic stem cell niche.” Blood. 2010 Dec 16;116(25):5528-35
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20813899

 

 

STATINS FOUND TO HAVE BLEEDING RISK

Statins (ex. Lipitor and Crestor) are often prescribed to lower cholesterol. However, in a decision analysis, researchers found that this class of drugs could promote bleeding in the brain, especially in those people who have already had a brain bleed. Dr. Brandon Westover of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, reported in the Archives of Neurology “Our analysis indicates that in settings of high recurrent intracerebral hemorrhage risk, avoiding statin therapy may be preferred.”

“Statins may raise stroke risk in some: study” Reuters, January 10, 2011.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/11/us-statins-stroke-idUSTRE70A06C20110111

Westover MB et al. “Statin Use Following Intracerebral Hemorrhage: A Decision Analysis.” Arch Neurol. 2011 Jan 10
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21220650

 

 

 

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