Background: The continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (C.E.R.A.) has a long half-life, a relatively low binding affinity for the erythropoiesis receptor and low systemic clearance. These characteristics permit once-monthly dosing, which could reduce staffing requirements and be advantageous for patients. However, outcomes observed during controlled trials of C.E.R.A. have not been assessed under everyday clinical conditions in which physicians make all therapeutic decisions based on their own experience, rather than according to a pre-defined protocol.
Objective: This study aimed to assess whether the efficacy and safety of C.E.R.A. reported during controlled trials are reproducible under routine clinical conditions.
Methods: This was a non-interventional, single-cohort, multicentre study carried out in 92 specialist nephrology clinics and private practices in Germany. The study included patients with non-dialysis chronic kidney disease and anaemia, with or without current erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA) therapy. C.E.R.A. initiation and dosing was at the discretion of the physician. The primary efficacy variable was the proportion of patients for whom all measured haemoglobin (Hb) values during months 7–9 were within the range 11–12g/dL (‘responders’).
Results: 335 patients received ≥1 dose of C.E.R.A.; 150 had previously received ESA therapy. The mean number of doses was 7.6 per patient over a mean follow-up of 7.9 months. Mean ± SD Hb was 10.7 ± 1.1 g/dL at baseline and 11.3 ± 1.1 g/dL at the final visit (efficacy population, n = 205). The primary endpoint, all measured Hb values during months 7–9 within the range 11–12 g/dL, was achieved by 19.0% (39/205) of patients, increasing to 41.5% for Hb 11–13 g/dL, 42.0% for 10–12 g/dL and 76.6% for Hb ≥10g/dL. Hb fluctuation during months 7–9 was ≤1 g/dL in 185/205 patients (90.2%). C.E.R.A. was well tolerated without novel safety concerns.
Conclusion: Hb levels remained stable during routine use of C.E.R.A. in an unselected population of non-dialysis chronic kidney disease patients with anaemia. C.E.R.A. was administered approximately monthly compared with 3–7 doses per month on previous ESA therapy.
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