Crizanlizumab in vaso-occlusive crisis caused by sickle cell disease

Drugs Today (Barc). 2020 Nov;56(11):705-714. doi: 10.1358/dot.2020.56.11.3178111.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder characterized by a single gene mutation leading to polymerization of erythrocytes, with subsequent assumption of a "sickle" shape. However, polymerization is just one aspect of the disorder's pathology. It is also characterized by abnormalities in nitric oxide utilization and vasculopathy; generation of reactive oxygen species; hemolysis; hypercoagulability; and altered rheology including abnormal leukocyte rolling along endothelium, and sickle cell-endothelial and cell-cell adhesion. The latter phenomenon is associated with increased P- and E-selectin expression and creation of a proadhesive endothelial environment. The anti-P-selectin humanized monoclonal antibody crizanlizumab functions through selective inhibition of P-selectin. At a dose of 5 mg/kg in a clinical trial, it led to a 45.3% decline in the median annual crisis rate in individuals with SCD. Tolerability was good and the adverse event profile was acceptable. In this review, results of the clinical trials involving this drug and specific side effects are outlined. Analysis of cost efficacy is touched on, with an examination of the economic and social burden of SCD.

Keywords: Anemia; Blood disorders; Crizanlizumab; Monoclonal antibodies; P-selectin inhibitors; Sickle cell disease; Vaso-occlusive crisis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Sickle Cell* / drug therapy
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized* / adverse effects
  • Humans


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • crizanlizumab