Background: Pyruvate kinase deficiency is caused by mutations in PKLR and leads to congenital hemolytic anemia. Mitapivat is an oral, small-molecule allosteric activator of pyruvate kinase in red cells.
Methods: In this uncontrolled, phase 2 study, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of mitapivat in 52 adults with pyruvate kinase deficiency who were not receiving red-cell transfusions. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either 50 mg or 300 mg of mitapivat twice daily for a 24-week core period; eligible patients could continue treatment in an ongoing extension phase.
Results: Common adverse events, including headache and insomnia, occurred at the time of drug initiation and were transient; 92% of the episodes of headache and 47% of the episodes of insomnia resolved within 7 days. The most common serious adverse events, hemolytic anemia and pharyngitis, each occurred in 2 patients (4%). A total of 26 patients (50%) had an increase of more than 1.0 g per deciliter in the hemoglobin level. Among these patients, the mean maximum increase was 3.4 g per deciliter (range, 1.1 to 5.8), and the median time until the first increase of more than 1.0 g per deciliter was 10 days (range, 7 to 187); 20 patients (77%) had an increase of more than 1.0 g per deciliter in the hemoglobin level at more than 50% of visits during the core study period, with improvement in markers of hemolysis. The response was sustained in all 19 patients remaining in the extension phase, with a median follow-up of 29 months (range, 22 to 35). Hemoglobin responses were observed only in patients who had at least one missense PKLR mutation and were associated with the red-cell pyruvate kinase protein level at baseline.
Conclusions: The administration of mitapivat was associated with a rapid increase in the hemoglobin level in 50% of adults with pyruvate kinase deficiency, with a sustained response during a median follow-up of 29 months during the extension phase. Adverse effects were mainly low-grade and transient. (Funded by Agios Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02476916.).
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