PHILADELPHIA—Once-monthly peginesatide, an investigational peptide-based erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA), is similar to epoetin administrated one to three times weekly in maintaining mean hemoglobin levels in the 10-12 g/dL range in hemodialysis patients with anemia, according to study findings presented at Kidney Week 2011.

The finding is based on pooled data from 1,608 participants in two phase 3 randomized, controlled trials comparing the two medications (1,066 treated with peginesatide and 542 treated with epoetin for at least 52 weeks). Investigators measured Hb variability during the evaluation period (29-36 weeks) using the standard deviation of Hb levels within patients and median of the absolute deviation from the median within-patient Hb level. Results showed that the two treatments were associated with similar Hb variability despite fewer dose adjustments with once-monthly peginesatide. The Hb variability based on the SD was 0.51 for peginesatide recipients and 0.48 for epoetin-treated patients. The Hb variability base don median absolute deviation was 0.44 for both groups. Both treatments were associated with similar adverse events rates.

The investigators, led by Robert Provenzano, MD, of St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit, noted that once-monthly administration of an ESA would reduce the time burden of anemia management, potentially freeing up time for other important aspects of care, such as patient education.

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