(Alliance News) - Drug major AstraZeneca PLC on Friday said trials of roxadustat showed the drug significantly increased haemoglobin levels in anaemic chronic kidney disease patients.
The phase three Olympus and Rockies trials both showed "significantly higher" levels of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen in the blood, in patients with anaemia from chronic kidney disease. Improvement was seen both in patients dependent on dialysis and those who were not.
Anaemia, where a person does not have enough red blood cells or haemoglobin, is especially prevalent in chronic kidney disease patients as damaged kidneys makes less of the hormone erythropoietin, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells.
The Olympus trial compared roxadustat against a placebo, while the Rockies trial compared it to epoetin alfa. Roxadustat showed a statistically significant improvement in haemoglobin levels versus placebo and against epoetin alfa.
Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of BioPharmaceuticals Research & Development at Astra, said: "Anaemia is a common, serious condition among patients with chronic kidney disease. It occurs when the body has fewer healthy red blood cells than normal and low levels of haemoglobin, which may leave patients fatigued and short of breath.
"Results from Olympus and Rockies reinforce the potential role that roxadustat could play in increasing haemoglobin levels and managing anaemia, which is often underdiagnosed and undertreated."
Shares in Astra were up 0.1% at 7,292.00 pence each in London on Friday morning.
By Anna Farley; email@example.com
Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.