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Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta for anemia with chronic kidney disease

Authors Ohashi N, Sakao, Yasuda, Kato, Fujigaki

Received 23 January 2012

Accepted for publication 17 February 2012

Published 30 March 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 53—60


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Naro Ohashi1, Yukitoshi Sakao2, Hideo Yasuda1, Akihiko Kato2, Yoshihide Fujigaki1

1Internal Medicine 1, 2Blood Purification Unit, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan

Abstract: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a risk factor for end-stage renal failure and cardiovascular events. In patients with CKD, anemia is often caused by decreased erythropoietin production relative to hemoglobin levels. As correction of anemia is associated with improved cardiac and renal function and quality of life, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are standard therapy for anemia in CKD patients. However, traditional ESAs such as epoetin or darbepoetin have short half-lives and require frequent administration, dose changes, and close monitoring of hemoglobin concentration to maintain target hemoglobin levels. Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta (MPG-EPO) is the only ESA that is generated by chemical modification of glycosylated erythropoietin through the integration of one specific, long, linear chain of polyethylene glycol. This ESA induces continuous erythropoietin receptor activation and has a long half-life (approximately 130 hours). Subcutaneous or intravenous administration of MPG-EPO once every 2 weeks or monthly achieved a high hemoglobin response rate in patients with anemia associated with CKD, regardless of whether the patient was undergoing dialysis. According to data from an observational time and motion study, MPG-EPO maintains hemoglobin levels when the same dose is administered, however infrequently. This suggests that compared with the use of traditional ESAs, administration of MPG-EPO reduces the overall time and cost associated with the management of anemia in CKD patients undergoing dialysis. MPG-EPO is generally well tolerated and most adverse events are of mild to moderate severity. The most commonly reported adverse effects are hypertension, nasopharyngitis, and diarrhea. Subcutaneous injection of MPG-EPO is significantly less painful than subcutaneous injection of darbepoetin. In conclusion, MPG-EPO is as effective and safe as traditional ESAs in managing renal anemia, irrespective of whether the patient is undergoing dialysis.

Keywords: methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta, renal anemia, end-stage renal failure, hemoglobin, erythropoiesis-stimulating agent

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