Shares of Alexion Pharmaceuticals surged on the news that a Phase III trial of eculizumab demonstrated the drug delivered significant therapeutic gains for patients with a rare form of anemia. A total of 87 patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria--a condition in which the immune system attacks red blood cells--participated in the trial. Hemoglobin stabilization was reached by 49 percent of the patients taking the drug compared to none receiving a placebo. And eculizumab users didn't require blood transfusions, compared to the average of 10 liters of blood required by patients taking a placebo. Alexion in Cheshire, CT plans to file for FDA approval by the end of the year. If successful, it will be the biotech's first product to reach the market.
- read this report from the International Herald Tribune for more information