Approval of pegcetacoplan for PNH patients

blood cells

On 13 December 2021 a new drug for the treatment of adult patients with PNH was approved in the EU: The substance pegcetacoplan which inhibits specific processes in the immune system will probably be available in Germany in the beginning of 2022. Its trade name is Aspaveli®.

The drug is a so-called C3 complement inhibitor: The complement system is part of the body's own immune system which in PNH attacks the red blood cells (erythrocytes) and destroys them. Pegcetacoplan inhibits a certain part of the complement system and thereby the destruction of red blood cells outside the blood vessels (extravascular), leading to an improved life cycle of the erythrocytes and improved haemoglobin levels.

Pegecetacoplan is approved for patients who remain anaemic despite treatment with a C5 inhibitor (eculizumab or ravulizumab) for at least 3 months. C5 is also part of the complement system. The drug is administered twice a week as a subcutaneous infusion. Among the most common side effects are reactions at the injection site, infections of the upper respiratory tract, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

"Summary of product characteristics" by the European Medicines Agency EMA.

The drug is not entirely new: On 5 April of this year, we already reported in detail on the mechanism of action and the current studies on it in a blog post on our website.

Lectures of the Ulm Patient Day online

Rare Disease Day logo

In connection with the Day of Rare Diseases , the Ulm University Hospital held another AA / PNH patient seminar on March 6th, 2021. Due to the pandemic, it took place in virtual form for the first time and also attracted numerous participants in this format.

The lectures of the varied program are available for download on the website of the Center for Rare Diseases of the Ulm University Hospital .

Invitation to the Essen patient and family seminar

Virtual classroom © manfredsteger on pixabay

We are delighted that the Essen University Hospital is inviting you to its 12th PNH and AA seminar for patients and relatives . Due to the ongoing pandemic, it will take place virtually this year: On Saturday, September 25th, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. you will be brought up to date on the diseases and will have the opportunity to ask questions.


Invitation and link to participate

Workshop on AA / PNH on June 14th, 2021

Notebook und Becher © Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

A virtual workshop on aplastic anemia and PNH will take place on Monday, June 14th, 2021 at 5 p.m. Prof. Dr. Jörg Westermann from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin will inform you about the origin, diagnosis and treatment options for both diseases and is available to answer any questions. Afterwards, the participants have the opportunity to exchange experiences with one another.

The workshop is part of the DLH patient congress ( Deutsche Leukämie- & Lymphom-Hilfe eV ), which also offers numerous other workshops on, in some cases, cross-disease topics. Take a look at the program and register at https://www.dlh-kongress.de/der-kongress/online-anmeldung/ .

*** Attention! The workshop is not recorded so you cannot watch it later! ***



Exercise reduces risk of severe COVID-19 courses

It's no secret that exercise is good for our body: we have all heard or read somewhere that regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing metabolic or cardiovascular diseases, for example. For about a year, however, fitness studios and sports clubs have been closed and even an evening walk is made difficult in some places by a curfew. In short - the pandemic is not exactly making it easier for us to stay fit. Meanwhile, the large-scale British Journal of Sports Medicine study from the USA suggests that exercise is particularly important in these times: Almost 50,000 COVID-19 infected peopple were asked about their daily activitly level (looking back for the past two years before infection with SARS-CoV-2). The study was recently published. 14% of the respondents were physically inactive (≤ 10 minutes of exercise per week). 80% reported moderate activity (11-149 minutes of exercise per week) and 6% did steady 150 minutes of exercise per week. WEITER

Results of the PEGASUS study on APL-2

A recently published study from Leeds, England examines the effectiveness of the new drug pegcetacoplan on paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). Pegcetacoplan has not yet been approved for PNH therapy in Europe, but approval is currently being examined by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). For this reason, we would like to briefly introduce the drug and the study to you and first take a brief look at the blood formation disorder underlying PNH in order to understand how Pegcetacoplan works:

Normally there are certain proteins on the surface of the red blood cells (erythrocytes), which transport oxygen through our body. Among other things, these regulate the immune system and prevent the erythrocytes from being broken down prematurely as they circulate through the body. At the PNHWEITER

Patients with stem cell transplants: study on sport and exercise

Heidelberg University is currently carrying out a research project in collaboration with the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT): Patients who have received a stem cell transplant are asked about their attitudes towards physical activity. Specifically, the aim is to determine how patients feel about physical activity during and after a stem cell transplant, how they perceive it and how well they feel advised in this regard. Above all, questions are asked about the situation before the start of the pandemic, when sport and exercise were perhaps easier and more diverse. As an association, we would like to support this study, because its aim is to adapt the offers of help and information materials on the subject of "Sport and exercise in stem cell therapy" more specifically to the wishes and needs of the patients. WEITER

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ULM UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL ON COVID-19 VACCINATION IN AA/PNH

A few weeks ago, vaccinations against the SARS-CoV-2 virus began in Germany. As announced in our February virtual group meeting, the Ulm University Hospital, as one of the most important AA/PNH centres in Germany, has now published a recommendation letter (German) on this topic. If you need assistance with details contained in the recommendation letter please email us at info(at)aa-pnh.org or give us a call: +49 30 549094080. We briefly summarise the most important contents for you below:WEITER

Pandemic Impact Survey on AA / PNH Patients

In July / August 2020, under the leadership of Priv.-Doz. Dr. Fabian Beier started the first round of a survey to record the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on AA and PNH patients in Germany. The focus was on the availability of information on COVID-19 and delays in treatments. We were very pleased that the lichterzellen foundation and our association were included in the design of the survey.
The evaluation of the first round of questions showed that around 20% of the respondents had little or no access toWEITER