Emicizumab prophylaxis in patients with acquired haemophilia A (GTH-AHA-EMI): an open-label, single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 study

Lancet Haematol. 2023 Nov;10(11):e913-e921. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3026(23)00280-6. Epub 2023 Oct 16.


Background: Acquired haemophilia A is caused by neutralising autoantibodies against coagulation factor VIII, leading to severe bleeding. Standard treatment involves immunosuppressive therapy, which is associated with adverse events and mortality in the frail population of patients with acquired haemophilia A. This study investigated whether emicizumab, a factor VIIIa mimetic antibody, protects patients with acquired haemophilia A from bleeding and allows deferral of immunosuppression during the first 12 weeks after diagnosis.

Methods: We report final results of an open-label, single-arm, phase 2 clinical trial. Adult patients with acquired haemophilia A from 16 haemophilia treatment centres in Germany and Austria were eligible if they had not previously received immunosuppression. Patients received emicizumab subcutaneously (6 and 3 mg/kg on days 1 and 2, 1·5 mg/kg weekly until week 12), but no immunosuppression. Follow-up was until week 24. The primary endpoint was the number of clinically relevant bleeds per patient-week until week 12. Emicizumab was considered effective if the mean bleeding rate was significantly below 0·15 bleeds per patient-week, the rate observed in a previous study of patients with acquired haemophilia A treated with bypassing agents and immunosuppression but no emicizumab. The study is registered with clinicaltrials.gov, NCT04188639 and is complete.

Findings: Of 49 patients screened from March 25, 2021, to June 10, 2022, 47 were enrolled (23 women, 24 men). Median age was 76 years (IQR 66-80), 46 (98%) of 47 patients were White, median factor VIII activity was 1·4 IU/dL (0·3-5·6), and median inhibitor concentration was 11·4 Bethesda units per mL (3·9-42·7). Mean breakthrough bleeding rate was 0·04 bleeds per patient-week (upper 97·5% CI 0·06). 33 (70%) of 47 patients had no bleeding events, seven patients (15%) had one bleed, six patients (13%) had two bleeds, and one patient (2%) had three bleeds. Adverse events of grade 3 or worse included COVID-19 (n=2), acute kidney injury (n=2), and stroke (n=1). Four of 47 patients died, including two deaths related to bleeding, one from COVID-19, and one from cardiac arrest (none were judged as related to emicizumab).

Interpretation: This study suggests that emicizumab prophylaxis prevents bleeding in patients with acquired haemophilia A and that immunosuppressive therapy can be deferred while patients are receiving this treatment. The low number of thromboembolic events, severe infections, and fatalities observed in this study are promising.

Funding: This study was supported by funding from Hoffman-La Roche.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Factor VIII / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hemophilia A* / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male


  • emicizumab
  • Factor VIII

Supplementary concepts

  • Factor 8 deficiency, acquired

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04188639