Many people among us contend with unknown-to-us dreadful conditions. Periodically in this newsletter, we highlight new research that could lead to a truly better life for some of our neighbors.
One such challenge is hereditary angioedema (HAE) – a genetically inherited disorder that leads to severe, and sometimes life-threatening, swelling throughout the body. Often-affected areas are the extremities, gut, face and airway. A deficiency of the protein C-1-esterase inhibitor is the culprit. Lack of this protein allows a build-up of kallikrein, kininogen and bradykinin, causing the tissue swelling.
Fairly early-stage research reported recently in the New England Journal of Medicine into the use of Lanadelumab in treating HAE revealed startling positive results. These monoclonal antibodies removed kallikrein through bi-weekly administration by subcutaneous injection. The result showed almost complete cessation of the swelling attacks.
Additional studies will be required before the FDA approval can be forthcoming, but if use of Lanadelumab proves to be safe, it will be a major improvement in preventive therapy for HAE.