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Comparative safety of intravenous Ferumoxytol versus Ferric Carboxymaltose for the Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia: rationale and study design of a randomized double-blind study with a focus on acute hypersensitivity reactions

Authors Adkinson NF, Strauss WE, Bernard K, Kaper RF, Macdougall IC, Krop JS

Received 20 May 2017

Accepted for publication 9 August 2017

Published 26 September 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 155—163


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin Bluth

N Franklin Adkinson,1 William E Strauss,2 Kristine Bernard,2 Robert F Kaper,2 Iain C Macdougall,3 Julie S Krop2

1Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Waltham, MA, USA; 3Department of Renal Medicine, King’s College Hospital, London, UK

Background: Intravenous (IV) iron is often used to treat iron deficiency anemia in patients who are unable to tolerate or are inadequately managed with oral iron. However, IV iron treatment has been associated with acute hypersensitivity reactions. The comparative risk of adverse events (AEs) with IV iron preparations has been assessed by a few randomized controlled trials, which are most often limited by small patient numbers, which lack statistical power to identify differences in low-frequency AE such as hypersensitivity reactions.
Materials and methods: Ferumoxytol versus Ferric Carboxymaltose for the Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia (FIRM) is a randomized, double-blind, international, multicenter, Phase III study designed to compare the safety of ferumoxytol and ferric carboxymaltose (FCM). The study includes adults with hemoglobin <12.0 g/dL (females) or <14.0 g/dL (males), transferrin saturation ≤20% or ferritin ≤100 ng/mL within 60 days of dosing, and a history of unsatisfactory or nontolerated oral iron therapy or in whom oral iron therapy is inappropriate. Patients are randomized (1:1) to ferumoxytol 510 mg or FCM 750 mg, each given intravenously on days 1 and 8. Primary end points are the incidence of moderate-to-severe hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, and moderate-to-severe hypotension. All potential hypersensitivity and hypotensive reactions will be adjudicated by a blinded, independent Clinical Events Committee. A secondary safety end point is the composite frequency of moderate-to-severe hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, serious cardiovascular events, and death. Secondary efficacy end points include mean change in hemoglobin and mean change in hemoglobin per milligram of iron administered from baseline to week 5. Urinary excretion of phosphorus and the occurrence of hypophosphatemia after IV iron administration will be examined as well as the mechanisms of such hypophosphatemia in a substudy.
Conclusion: FIRM will provide data on the comparative safety of ferumoxytol and FCM, two IV iron preparations with similar dosing schedules, focusing on moderate-to-severe hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, and moderate-to-severe hypotension. The study plans to enroll 2000 patients and is expected to complete in 2017.

Keywords: anaphylaxis, ferumoxytol, ferric carboxymaltose, hypersensitivity, hypotension, iron deficiency anemia

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