Author(s): Conran N
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the production of abnormal hemoglobin that polymerizes at low oxygen concentrations, causing the erythrocyte to adopt a sickle-shaped morphology. SCD pathophysiology is extremely complex and can lead to numerous clinical complications, including painful vaso-occlusive crises (VOC), end-organ damage, and a shortened lifespan. An impressive number of investigational drugs are currently in early stages of clinical development with prospects for use either as chronic therapies to reduce VOC frequency and end-organ damage in SCD or for use at the time of VOC onset. Many of these agents have been developed using a pathophysiological-based approach to SCD, targeting one or more of the mechanisms that contribute to the disease process. It is plausible that a multi-drug approach to treating the disease will evolve in the coming years, whereby hydroxyurea (HU) (the only drug currently FDA-approved for SCD) is used in combination with drugs that amplify nitric oxide signaling and/or counteract hemolytic effects, platelet activation and inflammation.
This article was published in Expert Opin Investig Drugs
and referenced in Biology and Medicine