CSL Behring UK Ltd has announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has expanded the administration options for Hizentra, human normal immunoglobulin, SCIg, 20% liquid, to include dosing once every two weeks (fortnightly).

Hizentra initially received EMA approval in 2011 as a 20%, once weekly SCIg replacement therapy for adults and children with PID to help treat existing or chronic infections and prevent new infections from occurring. Hizentra can also be stored at room temperature for up to 30 months meaning it is ready to use.

Dosing once every two weeks with Hizentra can offer adult and paediatric patients consistent levels of IgG similar to weekly infusions, while providing patients with the option of infusing less frequently.

The data to support dosing once every two weeks with Hizentra is based on the principles of pharmacometrics and pharmacokinetic modelling that included 3,800 data points for U.S. and EU clinical trials and 300 simulated trials.1

"To provide the best care to patients, therapy needs to be individualised to meet particular needs," said Dr Alison Jones, Consultant Paediatric Immunologist, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. "We now have the data to confirm that fortnightly administration provides equivalent protection as compared to weekly administration. This will give patients and their carers increased confidence to use flexible dosing."

"CSL Behring has long been at the forefront of developing immunoglobulin replacement therapy advances that provide clinicians with the ability to individualise treatments to meet their patients' lifestyle needs and preferences," said Edward Owens, General Manager, UK & Ireland, CSL Behring. "We are extremely pleased to now offer patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiencies the option of receiving Hizentra weekly or fortnightly. This new dosing option underscores CSL Behring's commitment to meeting the individual needs of patients who rely on our therapies."

Hizentra is indicated for:

  • Replacement therapy in adults and children in primary immunodeficiency (PID) syndromes such as:
    • congenital agammaglobulinaemia and hypogammaglobulinaemia - common variable immunodeficiency
    • severe combined immunodeficiency
    • IgG subclass deficiencies with recurrent infections.
  • Replacement therapy in myeloma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia with severe secondary hypogammaglobulinaemia and recurrent infections.

About Primary Immunodeficiency Disease (PID)* and Secondary Immunodeficiency Disease (SID) PID is not a single condition but a group of more than 1502 disorders that are caused by an absent or dysfunctional immune system.

People with PID are more susceptible to recurrent and serious infections caused by everyday pathogens such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. Depending on the type of infection, it may affect the lungs causing chest infections, sinuses causing sinusitis or the intestines causing diarrhoea. They are also more likely to get autoimmune diseases, where the immune system attacks an individual's own cells or tissue.

Individuals with PID are also less able to fight infections and may not respond to the usual treatments. Infections may keep returning and as a result, patients may require multiple rounds of antibiotics or hospitalisation for treatment.

If an individual with PID suffers from repeated infections it can lead to organ damage which over time can become life threatening.

Secondary immunodeficiency (SID), also known as acquired immunodeficiency, occurs when the immune system is compromised due to an environmental factor. Examples include HIV, burns, malnutrition, aging and particular medications (e.g. chemotherapy, disease - modifying antirheumatic drugs, immunosuppressive drugs after organ transplants, glucocorticoids etc.)

Important safety information for Hizentra

Adverse reactions such as local reactions at infusion sites, chills, headache, fever, vomiting, allergic reactions, nausea, arthralgia, low blood pressure and moderate low back pain may occur occasionally.

Rarely human normal immunoglobulins may cause a sudden fall in blood pressure and in isolated cases, anaphylactic shock, even when the patient has shown no hypersensitivity to previous administration.

Please see the Summary of Product Characteristics for further information and a list of rare reactions.