• Consistent with erythrocyte pyruvate kinase activation, ATP increased, and 2,3‑DPG decreased with etavopivat treatment.

  • Clinically, this translated to 73.3% of etavopivat-treated patients with SCD having a Hb increase >1 g/dL at any time during treatment.

Etavopivat is an investigational, once-daily, oral, selective erythrocyte pyruvate kinase (PKR) activator. A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 3-part, phase 1 study (https://clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT03815695) was conducted to characterize the safety and clinical activity of etavopivat. Thirty-six patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) were enrolled into 4 cohorts: one single-dose; two multiple ascending doses; one open-label [OL]. In the OL cohort, 15 patients (median age 33.0 [range, 17‒55] years received 400-mg etavopivat once daily for 12 weeks; 14 completed treatment. Consistent with the mechanism of PKR activation, increases in ATP and decreases in 2,3 diphosphoglycerate were observed and sustained over 12 weeks' treatment. This translated clinically to an increase in hemoglobin (mean maximal increase 1.6 [range, 0.8‒2.8] g/dL), with >1 g/dL increase in 11 (73%) patients during treatment. Additionally, oxygen tension at which hemoglobin is 50% saturated was reduced (P=.0007) with concomitant shift in point-of-sickling (P=.0034) to lower oxygen tension in oxygen-gradient ektacytometry. Hemolysis markers (absolute reticulocyte count, indirect bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase) decreased from baseline, along with matrix metalloproteinase-9 and erythropoietin. In the OL cohort, adverse events (AEs) were mostly grade 1/2, consistent with underlying SCD; 5 patients had serious AEs. Vaso-occlusive pain episode was the most common treatment-emergent AE (n=7) in the OL cohort. In this first study of etavopivat in SCD, 400 mg once daily for 12 weeks was well-tolerated, resulting in rapid and sustained increases in hemoglobin, improved RBC physiology, and decreased hemolysis.

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