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1.  Efficacy and Safety of IgPro20, a Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin, in Japanese Patients with Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases 
Journal of Clinical Immunology  2014;34(2):204-211.
Purpose
Intravenous (IVIG) and subcutaneous (SCIG) immunoglobulin infusions are widely used for the treatment of patients with primary immunodeficiency (PID) worldwide. This prospective, multicenter, open-label, single-arm Phase III study evaluated the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of IgPro20 (Hizentra®; L-proline–stabilized 20 % human SCIG) in adult and pediatric Japanese patients with PID.
Methods
Patients received three IVIG infusions at 3–4-week intervals followed by a dose-equivalent switch to weekly SCIG infusions. A 12-week wash-in/wash-out period was followed by a 12-week SCIG efficacy period. The primary efficacy endpoint was the comparison of total serum IgG trough levels during the IVIG and SCIG efficacy periods by calculating the geometric mean ratio (GMR).
Results
The GMR of IgG trough levels on SCIG versus IVIG was 1.09 (2-sided 90 % confidence interval: 1.06–1.13). No serious bacterial infections were reported. Eleven patients (52.4 %) had infectious episodes with an overall rate of 2.98 infections/patient/year; 7 patients (33.3 %) missed school/work/daycare due to infection (3.48 days/patient/year). Sixteen patients (76.2 %) were treated with antibiotics for an adverse event (AE; 47.6 %) or prophylaxis (23.8 %), resulting in 167.42 days/patient/year of antibiotic use. During SCIG treatment, 24 patients (96.0 %) had 269 AEs (0.461 AEs per/infusion) including local reactions as the most common AE (20 patients, 80.0 %). Local tolerability of IgPro20 was assessed as “very good” or “good” after 85.4 % of SCIG infusions. One patient (4.0 %) experienced a serious AE of moderate severity (bacterial infection) that was considered unrelated to study medication.
Conclusion
IgPro20 was effective and well tolerated in Japanese patients with PID.
doi:10.1007/s10875-013-9985-z
PMCID: PMC3937544  PMID: 24504846
Primary immunodeficiency; PID; primary antibody deficiency; SCIG; Hizentra®; IgPro20; Japan
2.  Efficacy and Safety of Hizentra®, a New 20% Immunoglobulin Preparation for Subcutaneous Administration, in Pediatric Patients with Primary Immunodeficiency 
Journal of Clinical Immunology  2011;31(5):752-761.
Subcutaneous IgG treatment for primary immunodeficiencies (PI) is particularly well suited for children because it does not require venous access and is mostly free of systemic adverse events (AEs). In a prospective, open-label, multicenter, single-arm, Phase III study, 18 children and five adolescents with PI were switched from previous intravenous (IVIG) or subcutaneous (SCIG) IgG treatment to receive dose-equivalent, weekly subcutaneous infusions of Hizentra® for 40 weeks. Mean IgG trough levels were maintained in patients previously on SCIG, or increased in those previously on IVIG, regardless of age. No serious bacterial infections were reported during the efficacy period of the study. The rates of non-serious infections were 4.77 (children) and 5.18 (adolescents) infections per patient per year. Related AEs were observed in seven children (38.9%) and two adolescents (40%). Three serious AEs and two AEs leading to discontinuation (all unrelated) were reported in children. Hizentra® is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for pediatric patients.
doi:10.1007/s10875-011-9557-z
PMCID: PMC3221851  PMID: 21674136
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG); primary immunodeficiency; local tolerability; serum IgG levels; pediatric patients
3.  Initiation of immunoglobulin therapy by subcutaneous administration in immunodeficiency patients naive to replacement therapy 
Background
Patients with immunodeficiency diseases require lifelong treatment with immunoglobulin (Ig), yet few studies have vetted dosing strategies and effectiveness of Ig in older patient populations. Patients requiring subcutaneous (SC) Ig (SCIG) typically start with intravenous dosing before transitioning to SCIG weekly maintenance. In this retrospective review, we investigated an alternate strategy with higher initial SC doses among an older patient population with antibody deficiency syndromes.
Findings
Records of 13 patients (mean age, 70 years) with antibody deficiencies who were naive to treatment with Ig were assessed. SCIG (Vivaglobin® [Immune Globulin Subcutaneous (Human), 16% Liquid] or Hizentra® [Immune Globulin Subcutaneous (Human), 20% Liquid]) was given twice weekly (100 mg/kg) for 2 weeks, followed by weekly (100 mg/kg) administration The mean pretreatment IgG level was 460 mg/dL; at 1, 3, and 6 months after SCIG initiation, mean IgG serum levels were 852, 907, and 943 mg/dL, respectively. Maintenance doses were unchanged during 6 months of follow-up. All patients remain on SCIG (median, 44 months). One patient developed sepsis/cholangitis unrelated to treatment 3 months after starting SCIG; no other serious bacterial infections were reported.
Conclusions
Initiation of SCIG by doubling the maintenance dose over 2 weeks may be a well-tolerated and effective option for patients with antibody deficiencies requiring Ig replacement, especially among older patients.
doi:10.1186/s13223-014-0063-8
PMCID: PMC4273447  PMID: 25535489
Globulins; Immune; Immunoglobulins; Subcutaneous; Immunoglobulins; Intravenous; Immunoglobulin therapy; Immunological deficiency syndromes
4.  Bioavailability of IgG Administered by the Subcutaneous Route 
Journal of Clinical Immunology  2013;33(5):984-990.
Purpose
US licensing studies of subcutaneous IgG (SCIG) calculate dose adjustments necessary to achieve area under the curve (AUC) of serum IgG vs. time on SCIG that is non-inferior to that on intravenous IgG (IVIG), within the FDA-set limit of ±20 %. The results are interpreted as showing that different SCIGs differ in bioavailability. We used three approaches to determine if the bioavailabilities were actually different.
Methods
Dose adjustments and AUCs from published licensing studies were used to calculate bioavailabilities using the formula: Bioavailability (% of IVIG) = AUC(SCIG) ÷ AUC(IVIG) x 1/Dose Adjustment. We also compared the increment in serum IgG concentration achieved with varying doses of SCIG in recent meta-analyses with the increment with different doses of IVIG, and determined the serum IgG concentrations when patients switched SCIG products at the same dose.
Results
The actual bioavailabilities were: Gamunex® 65.0 %, Hizentra® 65.5 %, Gammagard® 67.2 %, Vivaglobin® 69.0 %. Regression analyses of serum IgG vs. dose showed that the mean increase in serum IgG resulting from a 100 mg/kg/month increment in SCIG dosing was 69.4 % of the increase with the same increment in IVIG dosing (84 mg/dL vs. 121 mg/dL). Patients switching SCIG preparations at the same dose had no change in serum IgG levels, confirming that bioavailabilities of the SCIG preparations did not differ.
Conclusions
Decreased bioavailability appears to be a basic property of SCIG and not a result of any manufacturing process or concentration. Because serum IgG levels do not vary with different SCIG products at the same dose, adjustments are not necessary when switching products.
doi:10.1007/s10875-013-9876-3
PMCID: PMC3682093  PMID: 23456255
Subcutaneous IgG (SCIG); bioavailability; IgG dose adjustments; intravenous IgG (IVIG)
5.  Subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy in the treatment of patients with primary immunodeficiency disease 
Antibody deficiency is the most frequently encountered primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) and patients who lack the ability to make functional immunoglobulin require life-long replacement therapy to prevent serious bacterial infections. Human serum immunoglobulin manufactured from pools of donated plasma can be administered intramuscularly, intravenously or subcutaneously. With the advent of well-tolerated preparations of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) in the 1980s, the suboptimal painful intramuscular route of administration is no longer used. However, some patients continued to experience unacceptable adverse reactions to the intravenous preparations, and for others, vascular access remained problematic. Subcutaneously administered immunoglobulin (SCIg) provided an alternative delivery method to patients experiencing difficulties with IVIg. By 2006, immunoglobulin preparations designed exclusively for subcutaneous administration became available. They are therapeutically equivalent to intravenous preparations and offer patients the additional flexibility for the self-administration of their product at home. SCIg as replacement therapy for patients with primary antibody deficiencies is a safe and efficacious method to prevent serious bacterial infections, while maximizing patient satisfaction and improving quality of life.
PMCID: PMC2817783  PMID: 20169031
subcutaneous immunoglobulin; primary immunodeficiency disease; antibody deficiency; X-linked agammaglobulinemia; common variable immune deficiency
6.  Immune Globulin Subcutaneous (Human) 20% 
Drugs  2012;72(8):1087-1097.
Immune globulin subcutaneous 20% is a new high-concentration (200 g/L) solution of highly purified human IgG (≥98%) indicated in the EU and the US for antibody replacement therapy in patients with primary immunodeficiency with antibody deficiency, and in the EU for replacement therapy in humoral immunodeficiency secondary to myeloma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
Immune globulin subcutaneous 20% is formulated with L-proline, which imparts long-term stability at room temperature and a relatively low viscosity.
In two pivotal phase III trials in stably treated patients with primary immunodeficiency, immune globulin subcutaneous 20% at weekly subcutaneous dosages either equivalent to each patient’s previous intravenous or subcutaneous replacement therapy, or providing equivalent systemic exposure to previous intravenous therapy, produced mean serum IgG trough levels equal to or greater than pre-study levels. In each trial, there were no serious bacterial infections during treatment throughout the 28-week or 12-month efficacy periods. The rates of infectious episodes, days missed from work/school, days hospitalized or days with antibiotics were low.
Immune globulin subcutaneous 20% was generally well tolerated. A high proportion of patients experienced local infusion-site reactions, but infusion-related systemic adverse events were relatively infrequent. Most adverse events were of mild or moderate intensity and did not interfere with therapy.
doi:10.2165/11209490-000000000-00000
PMCID: PMC3582812  PMID: 22621695
7.  Calculating the Dose of Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin for Primary Immunodeficiency Disease in Patients Switched From Intravenous to Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Without the Use of a Dose-Adjustment Coefficient 
Pharmacy and Therapeutics  2013;38(12):768-770.
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), a standard therapy for immune deficiency disorders, is not appropriate for all patients. As a result, a subcutaneous form (SCIG) has emerged as an alternative. The authors propose a tailored dosing approach for SCIG.
Primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) is an inherited disorder characterized by an inadequate immune system. The most common type of PIDD is antibody deficiency. Patients with this disorder lack the ability to make functional immunoglobulin G (IgG) and require lifelong IgG replacement therapy to prevent serious bacterial infections.
The current standard therapy for PIDD is intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusions, but IVIG might not be appropriate for all patients. For this reason, subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) has emerged as an alternative to IVIG. A concern for physicians is the precise SCIG dose that should be prescribed, because there are pharmacokinetic differences between IVIG and SCIG. Manufacturers of SCIG 10% and 20% liquid (immune globulin subcutaneous [human]) recommend a dose-adjustment coefficient (DAC). Both strengths are currently approved by the FDA. This DAC is to be used when patients are switched from IVIG to SCIG.
In this article, we propose another dosing method that uses a higher ratio of IVIG to SCIG and an incremental adjustment based on clinical status, body weight, and the presence of concurrent diseases.
PMCID: PMC3875267  PMID: 24391400
8.  Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis and X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia: An Uncommon Association 
Case Reports in Pediatrics  2014;2014:480947.
Introduction. X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by agammaglobulinemia requiring replacement treatment with immunoglobulin. The association of XLA and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) is unexpected and, to our knowledge, only one case was previously published. Case Report. The authors report the case of a 10-year-old boy with family history and prenatal diagnosis of XLA, treated from birth with intravenous immunoglobulin replacement therapy. He presented with pneumonia, macroscopic hematuria, nephrotic proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and hypercholesterolemia with normal renal function and serum complement levels. Renal histology showed immune complex mediated MPGN. He was started on high dose prednisolone and ramipril and switched to weekly subcutaneous immunoglobulin. After a 4-month treatment, hematuria and proteinuria significantly improved and prednisolone was gradually tapered without relapse. Conclusion. The pathogenic process underlying MPGN development in this patient is unknown but residual humoral immunity might play an important role. Thus, this case highlights the risk of autoimmune disorders among patients with XLA.
doi:10.1155/2014/480947
PMCID: PMC3971515  PMID: 24716070
9.  Economic benefits of subcutaneous rapid push versus intravenous immunoglobulin infusion therapy in adult patients with primary immune deficiency 
SUMMARY
Objective
The objective of this study is to evaluate the economic benefits of immunoglobulin replacement therapy achieved subcutaneously (subcutaneous immunoglobulin, SCIG) by the rapid push method compared to intravenous infusion therapy (intravenous immunoglobulin, IVIG) in primary immune deficiency (PID) patients from the healthcare system perspective in the context of the adult SCIG home infusion program based at St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, Canada.
Materials and methods
SCIG and IVIG options were compared in cost-minimisation and budget impact models (BIMs) over 3 years. Sensitivity analyses were performed for both models to evaluate the impact of varying modality of IVIG treatments and proportion of patients switching from IVIG to SCIG.
Results
The cost-minimisation model estimated that SCIG treatment reduced cost to the healthcare system per patient of $5736 over 3 years, principally because of less use of hospital personnel. This figure varied between $5035 and $8739 depending on modality of IVIG therapy. Assuming 50% of patients receiving IVIG switched to SCIG, the BIM estimated cost savings for the first 3 years at $1·308 million or 37% of the personnel and supply budget. These figures varied between $1·148 million and $2·454 million (36 and 42%) with varying modalities of IVIG therapy. If 75% of patients switched to SCIG, the reduced costs reached $1·962 million or 56% of total budget.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated that from the health system perspective, rapid push home-based SCIG was less costly than hospital-based IVIG for immunoglobulin replacement therapy in adult PID patients in the Canadian context.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-3148.2012.01201.x
PMCID: PMC3580879  PMID: 23167310
budget impact model; cost minimisation; IVIG; primary immune deficiencies; SCIG
10.  Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin-G Replacement Therapy with Preparations Currently Available in the United States for Intravenous or Intramuscular Use: Reasons and Regimens 
For patients who require replacement therapy for primary immunodeficiency, subcutaneous infusions of immunoglobulin G (IgG) may be preferable to intravenous infusions for several reasons. However, at present, there is no preparation marketed for use by this route in North America. In this article, we describe the reasons patients have selected this route of therapy and the range of treatment regimens used. Approximately 20% of our patients have chosen the subcutaneous route, mainly because of adverse effects from intravenous (IV) infusions or difficulties with venous access. Unit dose regimens using whole bottles of currently available 16% intramuscular preparations or sucrose-containing lyophilized preparations intended for IV use but reconstituted to 15% IgG for subcutaneous administration were individually tailored to each patient. In most cases, self-infusions or home infusions were administered once or twice a week, most commonly requiring two subcutaneous sites and 2 to 3 hours per infusion. On average, patients took 0.18 mL of IgG per kilogram of body weight per site per hour. There were no systemic adverse effects. In patients for whom comparative data were available, trough serum IgG levels were higher with subcutaneous therapy than with IV therapy.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-1-3-120
PMCID: PMC2877065  PMID: 20529223
11.  Efficacy and Safety of a New 20% Immunoglobulin Preparation for Subcutaneous Administration, IgPro20, in Patients With Primary Immunodeficiency 
Journal of Clinical Immunology  2010;30(5):734-745.
Subcutaneous human IgG (SCIG) therapy in primary immunodeficiency (PID) offers sustained IgG levels throughout the dosing cycle and fewer adverse events (AEs) compared to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). A phase I study showed good local tolerability of IgPro20, a new 20% liquid SCIG stabilized with L-proline. A prospective, open-label, multicenter, single-arm, phase III study evaluated the efficacy and safety of IgPro20 in patients with PID over 15 months. Forty-nine patients (5–72 years) previously treated with IVIG received weekly subcutaneous infusions of IgPro20. The mean serum IgG level was 12.5 g/L. No serious bacterial infections were reported. There were 96 nonserious infections (rate 2.76/patient per year). The rate of days missed from work/school was 2.06/patient per year, and the rate of hospitalization was 0.2/patient per year. Ninety-nine percent of AEs were mild or moderate. No serious, IgPro20-related AEs were reported. IgPro20 effectively protected patients with PID against infections and maintained serum IgG levels without causing unexpected AEs.
doi:10.1007/s10875-010-9423-4
PMCID: PMC2935975  PMID: 20454851
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG); primary immunodeficiency; local tolerability; serum IgG trough levels; L-proline; home infusion therapy
12.  Implications to payers of switch from hospital-based intravenous immunoglobulin to home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiencies in Canada 
Background
Switching primary/secondary immunodeficiency (PID/SID) patients from intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) to home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) therapy reduces nurse time. A nurse shortage in Canada provides an important context to estimate the net economic benefit, the number of patients needed to switch to SCIg to recoup one full-time equivalent (FTE), and potential population-wide savings of reduced nurse time to a payer.
Methods
The net economic benefit was estimated by multiplying the hourly compensation for nurses in Canada by the hours required for each administration route. The number needed to switch to SCIg to gain one nurse FTE was estimated by dividing the work hours in a year by the average annual savings in nursing time in a PID population in Canada. The prevalence of treated PID/SID in Canada was calculated using provincial IgG audit data to extrapolate the potential population-wide savings of switching patients to SCIg therapy.
Findings
The net economic gain from switching one patient to home-based SCIg care would be C$2,603 (Canadian Dollars) in year 1 and C$2,948 each year thereafter. Switching 37 IVIg patients to SCIg would gain one nurse FTE. Switching 50% of the estimated 5,486 PID and SID patients in Canada receiving IVIg therapy to SCIg has the potential to save 223.3 nurse FTEs (C$23.2 million in labor costs).
Conclusions
A shift from IVIg to less labor-intensive SCIg has the potential to help alleviate nurse shortages and reduce overall health care costs in Canada. Health care professionals might consider advocating for home-based SCIg therapy for PID/SID patients when clinically appropriate.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-10-23
PMCID: PMC4036390  PMID: 24872821
IVIg; SCIg; Labor costs; Full time equivalents; FTEs; PID; SID; Nurse time
13.  Switch from intravenous to subcutaneous immunoglobulin in CIDP and MMN: improved tolerability and patient satisfaction 
Objectives:
To assess clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) or multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) who were switched from intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG).
Methods:
Eight consecutive patients, four with MMN and four with CIDP, already on long-term, hospital-based IVIG were switched to home-based SCIG. These patients were selected on the basis of their requirement for relatively low treatment doses, problems experienced with IVIG, and their willingness to switch to SCIG.
Results:
After a mean 33 [standard deviation (SD) 19] months receiving SCIG, 7 patients remained neurologically stable and 6 remained on a similar mean weekly immunoglobulin dose relative to their original intravenous dose. A good outcome was reported by 7 of the 8 patients: there were improvements in nausea and headache (n = 4), need to travel to hospital (n = 4), venous access problems (n = 3), immunoglobulin-induced neutropenia (n = 3), treatment wearing-off fluctuations (n = 2), IVIG-induced allergy requiring antihistamine/hydrocortisone (n = 1) and time taken off work (n = 1). The eighth patient required increasing doses of immunoglobulin to maintain strength but still wanted to continue SCIG. Seven patients completed a questionnaire: there was a very high overall satisfaction level with immunoglobulin treatment [mean 96 (SD 5), visual analogue scale (VAS) where 0 = very unsatisfied, 100 = very satisfied]; and very strong preference for subcutaneous over intravenous immunoglobulin (VAS mean 93 [SD 12] where 0 = prefer IVIG, 100 = prefer SCIG).
Conclusions:
In seven of the eight patients, SCIG gave improved tolerability and patient satisfaction with similar efficacy compared with IVIG.
doi:10.1177/1756285614563056
PMCID: PMC4286942  PMID: 25584070
chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy; intravenous immunoglobulins; multifocal motor neuropathy; subcutaneous immunoglobulins
14.  Efficacy and safety of golimumab as add-on therapy to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs: results of the GO-MORE study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2013;73(8):1477-1486.
Objectives
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous golimumab as add-on therapy in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatment. To evaluate an intravenous plus subcutaneous (IV+SC) golimumab strategy in patients who had not attained remission.
Methods
GO-MORE was an open-label, multinational, prospective study in patients with active RA in typical clinical practice settings. In part 1, patients received add-on monthly 50-mg subcutaneous golimumab for 6 months. The percentage of patients with good/moderate European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28)–erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) response was compared in patient subgroups with various concurrent or previous DMARD treatments. In part 2, patients with EULAR responses but not remission were randomly assigned to receive IV+SC or subcutaneous golimumab to month 12; DAS28–ESR remission was measured.
Results
3366 patients were enrolled. At baseline of part 1, 3280 efficacy-evaluable patients had mean disease duration of 7.6 years and mean DAS28–ESR of 5.97 (SD=1.095). At month 6, 82.1% achieved good/moderate EULAR responses and 23.9% attained remission. When EULAR responses were analysed by the number of previously failed DMARD or the concomitant methotrexate dose, DMARD type, or corticosteroid use, no statistically significant differences were observed. Part 2 patients (N=490) who received IV+SC or subcutaneous golimumab achieved similar remission rates (∼25%). Adverse events were consistent with previous reports of golimumab and other tumour necrosis antagonists in this population.
Conclusions
Add-on monthly subcutaneous golimumab resulted in good/moderate EULAR response in most patients; 25% achieved remission after 6 more months of golimumab, but an IV+SC regimen provided no additional efficacy over the subcutaneous regimen.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203229
PMCID: PMC4112444  PMID: 23740226
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Methotrexate; DMARDs (biologic)
15.  Anaemia management with subcutaneous epoetin delta in patients with chronic kidney disease (predialysis, haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis): results of an open-label, 1-year study 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:5.
Background
Anaemia is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and can be managed by therapy with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). Epoetin delta (DYNEPO®, Shire plc) is the only epoetin produced in a human cell line. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of subcutaneously administered epoetin delta for the management of anaemia in CKD patients (predialysis, peritoneal dialysis or haemodialysis)
Methods
This was a 1-year, multicentre, open-label study. Patients had previously received epoetin subcutaneously and were switched to epoetin delta at an identical dose to their previous therapy. Dose was titrated to maintain haemoglobin at 10.0–12.0 g/dL. The primary endpoint was mean haemoglobin over Weeks 12–24. Secondary analyses included long-term haemoglobin, haematocrit and dosing levels. Safety was assessed by monitoring adverse events, laboratory parameters and physical examinations.
Results
In total 478 patients received epoetin delta, forming the safety-evaluable population. Efficacy analyses were performed on data from 411 of these patients. Mean ± SD haemoglobin over Weeks 12–24 was 11.3 ± 1.1 g/dL. Mean ± SD weekly dose over Weeks 12–24 was 84.4 ± 72.7 IU/kg. Haemoglobin levels were maintained for the duration of the study. Epoetin delta was well tolerated, with adverse events occurring at rates expected for a CKD patient population; no patient developed anti-erythropoietin antibodies.
Conclusion
Subcutaneously administered epoetin delta is an effective and well-tolerated agent for the management of anaemia in CKD patients, irrespective of dialysis status.
Trial registration
http://www.controlled-trials.com ISRCTN68321818
doi:10.1186/1471-2369-10-5
PMCID: PMC2664800  PMID: 19243619
16.  Mechanisms of Action of Ig Preparations: Immunomodulatory and Anti-Inflammatory Effects 
Primary immunodeficiency (PID) disorders that predispose patients to recurrent infections require immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy. Ig replacement therapy has been stated as beneficial, although the optimal IgG trough level to be maintained over time in order to minimize infectious risk has not been established. The most common route of administration of Ig has been intravenously, although there are different options, one of them being the subcutaneous route. Ig replacement therapy has been a life-saving treatment for patients suffering from primary and secondary antibody immunodeficiency. The key role of regular Ig replacement in patients with antibody deficiencies is related to the ability to provide specific antibodies that could not be produced by these patients as demonstrated by the reduction of severe infections such as meningitis and pneumonia. The therapeutic benefits of Ig may also be due to an active role in various anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities, which may complicate the clinical picture of PID. Anti-inflammatory activities are seen more generally when intravenous Ig is administered at high dose. The immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities are important not only in the treatment of autoimmune diseases but also in patients suffering from immunodeficiency.
doi:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00690
PMCID: PMC4290674  PMID: 25628625
immunoglobulin; immunodeficiency; immunoregulation of Ig; Ig replacement therapy; antibody defect
17.  Potential patient benefit of a subcutaneous formulation of tocilizumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a critical review 
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was revolutionized during the last decade with the development of new biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) enabling the targeting of immune cells and cytokines other than tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Subcutaneous formulations of the newer biologic DMARDs facilitate not only patients’ emancipation from the hospital, but reduce both societal and medical costs. Intravenous tocilizumab (TCZ) in RA has an efficacy and safety profile similar to anti-TNF in both the short and long-term. However, TCZ can be administered in monotherapy without loss of efficacy when patients do not tolerate methotrexate or synthetic DMARDs. TCZ is consistently found superior to methotrexate and possibly superior to adalimumab in monotherapy in randomized controlled trials. Subcutaneous administration of TCZ is as effective and safe as its intravenous administration in RA patients during the first year of treatment. Similar to intravenous TCZ, patients’ weight and possibly previous use of anti-TNF influence the efficacy of subcutaneous TCZ. Additionally, combination with synthetic DMARDs seems to expose RA patients to more adverse events independently of its administration route. Pharmacokinetics of different administration routes could potentially lead to differences in efficacy, adverse events, and auto-immunogenicity. The concentration of free TCZ before new TCZ dose (C trough) is higher in the subcutaneous route, while the maximal concentration of free TCZ is higher in the intravenous route. The subcutaneous dosages of TCZ 162 mg every week, and every 2 weeks in RA patients with low body weight (<60 kg) work well. Nevertheless, dosage and intervals of subcutaneous TCZ administration could be adjusted during the course of treatment since 80% of non-Japanese RA patients with usually higher body weight achieved similar efficacy with the low TCZ dosage in combination with a synthetic DMARD. Patients want effective, easy-to-administer therapy with sustained prolonged efficacy without the need of polypharmacy and with minimal to no side effects. Subcutaneous TCZ in RA patients in monotherapy seems to live up to patients’ expectations.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S34958
PMCID: PMC4128846  PMID: 25120354
tocilizumab; subcutaneous; rheumatoid arthritis; pharmacokinetic; safety; efficacy
18.  Evaluation of correlation between dose and clinical outcomes in subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy 
Summary
The importance of serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G concentration in IgG replacement therapy for primary immunodeficiency diseases is established in certain settings. Generally, IgG is infused via the intravenous (IVIG) or subcutaneous (SCIG) route. For IVIG infusion, published data demonstrate that higher IgG doses and trough levels provide patients with improved protection from infection. The same conclusions are not yet accepted for SCIG; data from two recent Phase III studies and a recent post-hoc analysis, however, suggest the same correlation between higher SCIG dose and serum IgG concentration and decreased incidence of infection seen with IVIG. Other measures of clinical efficacy have not been considered similarly. Thus, combined analyses of these and other published SCIG studies were performed; a full comparison of the 13 studies was, however, limited by non-standardized definitions and reporting. Despite these limitations, our analyses indicate that certain clinical outcomes improve at higher SCIG doses and associated higher serum IgG concentrations, and suggest that there might be opportunity to improve patient outcomes via SCIG dose adjustment.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2012.04594.x
PMCID: PMC3406377  PMID: 22774992
dose; IgG replacement therapy; immunoglobulin; primary immunodeficiency; subcutaneous
19.  Evaluation of correlation between dose and clinical outcomes in subcutaneous immunoglobulin replacement therapy 
The importance of serum immunoglobulin (Ig)G concentration in IgG replacement therapy for primary immunodeficiency diseases is established in certain settings. Generally, IgG is infused via the intravenous (IVIG) or subcutaneous (SCIG) route. For IVIG infusion, published data demonstrate that higher IgG doses and trough levels provide patients with improved protection from infection. The same conclusions are not yet accepted for SCIG; data from two recent Phase III studies and a recent post-hoc analysis, however, suggest the same correlation between higher SCIG dose and serum IgG concentration and decreased incidence of infection seen with IVIG. Other measures of clinical efficacy have not been considered similarly. Thus, combined analyses of these and other published SCIG studies were performed; a full comparison of the 13 studies was, however, limited by non-standardized definitions and reporting. Despite these limitations, our analyses indicate that certain clinical outcomes improve at higher SCIG doses and associated higher serum IgG concentrations, and suggest that there might be opportunity to improve patient outcomes via SCIG dose adjustment.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2012.04594.x
PMCID: PMC3406377  PMID: 22774992
dose; IgG replacement therapy; immunoglobulin; primary immunodeficiency; subcutaneous
20.  New Frontiers in Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Treatment 
Biologics in Therapy  2011;1(1):3.
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) treatment provides stable serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels, is associated with fewer systemic adverse events than intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment, and offers the convenience of home therapy. In clinical practice, IVIG is still used preferentially for initiation of treatment in newly diagnosed patients with primary immunodeficiency (PI) and for immunomodulatory therapy, such as treatment of peripheral neuropathies, when high doses are believed to be necessary. The authors discuss recent experience in using SCIG in place of IVIG in these settings. SCIG has been successfully used for initiation of therapy in previously untreated PI patients. Seventeen of 18 PI patients achieved serum IgG levels ≥5 g/L after the loading phase. Daily treatment was well tolerated and provided opportunities for patient/parent training in self-infusion. SCIG has been used for maintenance therapy in multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) in three recent clinical trials, with good efficacy and tolerability results. Seven of eight MMN patients maintained serum IgG levels of 14–22 g/L with a mean dose of 272 mg/kg/week, had stable muscle strength, and felt comfortable with self-administration. Four patients with polymyositis or dermatomyositis achieved improvement in serum creatine kinase levels and muscle strength with SCIG therapy. Recent experience with SCIG suggests that traditional concepts of immunoglobulin therapy may be challenged to increase available therapy options. SCIG can be used to achieve high IgG levels within several days in untreated PI patients and to maintain high serum levels, as shown in patients with MMN.
doi:10.1007/s13554-011-0009-3
PMCID: PMC3873072  PMID: 24392293
immunoglobulin G; immunoglobulin therapy; multifocal motor neuropathy; primary immunodeficiencies; serum levels; subcutaneous administration
21.  New Frontiers in Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Treatment 
Biologics in Therapy  2011;1(1):3.
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) treatment provides stable serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels, is associated with fewer systemic adverse events than intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment, and offers the convenience of home therapy. In clinical practice, IVIG is still used preferentially for initiation of treatment in newly diagnosed patients with primary immunodeficiency (PI) and for immunomodulatory therapy, such as treatment of peripheral neuropathies, when high doses are believed to be necessary. The authors discuss recent experience in using SCIG in place of IVIG in these settings. SCIG has been successfully used for initiation of therapy in previously untreated PI patients. Seventeen of 18 PI patients achieved serum IgG levels ≥5 g/L after the loading phase. Daily treatment was well tolerated and provided opportunities for patient/parent training in self-infusion. SCIG has been used for maintenance therapy in multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) in three recent clinical trials, with good efficacy and tolerability results. Seven of eight MMN patients maintained serum IgG levels of 14–22 g/L with a mean dose of 272 mg/kg/week, had stable muscle strength, and felt comfortable with self-administration. Four patients with polymyositis or dermatomyositis achieved improvement in serum creatine kinase levels and muscle strength with SCIG therapy. Recent experience with SCIG suggests that traditional concepts of immunoglobulin therapy may be challenged to increase available therapy options. SCIG can be used to achieve high IgG levels within several days in untreated PI patients and to maintain high serum levels, as shown in patients with MMN.
doi:10.1007/s13554-011-0009-3
PMCID: PMC3873072  PMID: 24392293
immunoglobulin G; immunoglobulin therapy; multifocal motor neuropathy; primary immunodeficiencies; serum levels; subcutaneous administration
22.  Improving current immunoglobulin therapy for patients with primary immunodeficiency: quality of life and views on treatment 
Background
Subcutaneous or intravenous immunoglobulin replacement is the mainstay of treatment for most patients with primary immunodeficiency disease (PID). The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of how existing PID therapies affect patient lives and to identify desired improvements to immunoglobulin treatments.
Methods
An online questionnaire was made available through the International Patient Organisation for Primary Immunodeficiencies to patients with PID and their caregivers regarding current treatment satisfaction, living with PID, and patient preferences using a conjoint approach. Health-related quality of life was canvassed via questionnaires using the Short Form 12 Health Survey and EuroQoL 5 Dimensions.
Results
A total of 300 responded to the survey (72% patients with PID and 28% caregivers) from across 21 countries, mostly the UK, Sweden, Canada, France, Germany, and Spain. Fifty-three percent and 45% of patients received intravenous and subcutaneous therapy, respectively. Most respondents (76%) were satisfied with their current treatment, reflecting the benefits that immunoglobulin therapy provides for patient health and well-being. However, patients remained below the physical and mental well-being norms for health-related quality of life as determined by the questionnaire. All respondents expressed a desire for 4-weekly infusions, the ability to administer these at home, self-administration, shorter duration of administration, and fewer needle sticks.
Conclusion
The results of this survey highlight the importance of providing access to different treatment options and modes of administration to ensure individual patient needs are best met.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S60771
PMCID: PMC4014377  PMID: 24833896
primary immunodeficiency; immunoglobulins; quality of life; patient needs; patient satisfaction; conjoint analysis
23.  Enhancing Patient Flexibility of Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin G Dosing: Pharmacokinetic Outcomes of Various Maintenance and Loading Regimens in the Treatment of Primary Immunodeficiency 
Biologics in Therapy  2014;4(1-2):41-55.
Introduction
Standard treatment for patients with primary immunodeficiency (PID) is monthly intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), or weekly/biweekly subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) infusion. We used population pharmacokinetic modeling to predict immunoglobulin G (IgG) exposure following a broad range of SCIG dosing regimens for initiation and maintenance therapy in patients with PID.
Methods
Simulations of SCIG dosing were performed to predict IgG concentration–time profiles and exposure metrics [steady-state area under the IgG concentration–time curve (AUC), IgG peak concentration (Cmax), and IgG trough concentration (Cmin) ratios] for various infusion regimens.
Results
The equivalent of a weekly SCIG maintenance dose administered one, two, three, five, or seven times per week, or biweekly produced overlapping steady-state concentration–time profiles and similar AUC, Cmax, and Cmin values [95% confidence interval (CI) for ratios was 0.98–1.03, 0.95–1.09, and 0.92–1.08, respectively]. Administration every 3 or 4 weeks resulted in higher peaks and lower troughs; the 95% CI of the AUC, Cmax, and Cmin ratios was 0.97–1.04, 1.07–1.26, and 0.86–0.95, respectively. IgG levels >7 g/L were reached within 1 week using a loading dose regimen in which the weekly maintenance dose was administered five times in the first week of treatment. In patients with very low endogenous IgG levels, administering 1.5 times the weekly maintenance dose five times in the first week of treatment resulted in a similar response.
Conclusions
The same total weekly SCIG dose can be administered at different intervals, from daily to biweekly, with minimal impact on serum IgG levels. Several SCIG loading regimens rapidly achieve adequate serum IgG levels in treatment-naïve patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13554-014-0018-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13554-014-0018-0
PMCID: PMC4254869  PMID: 25118975
Biological therapy; Dosing regimen; Hizentra®; Immunoglobulin replacement therapy; Loading dose; Pharmacokinetic model; Primary immunodeficiency; Subcutaneous immunoglobulin; Skipped doses
24.  Gene Expression Profiling in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Patients with Common Variable Immunodeficiency: Modulation of Adaptive Immune Response following Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97571.
Background
Regular intravenous immunoglobulin treatment is used to replace antibody deficiency in primary immunodeficiency diseases; however the therapeutic effect seems to be related not only to antibody replacement but also to an active role in the modulation of the immune response. Common variable immunodeficiency is the most frequent primary immunodeficiency seen in clinical practice.
Methods
We have studied the effect of intravenous immunoglobulin replacement in patients with common variable immunodeficiency by evaluating the gene-expression profiles from Affimetrix HG-U133A. Some of the gene array results were validated by real time RT-PCR and by the measurement of circulating cytokines and chemokines by ELISA. Moreover we performed FACS analysis of blood mononuclear cells from the patients enrolled in the study.
Results
A series of genes involved in innate and acquired immune responses were markedly up- or down-modulated before therapy. Such genes included CD14, CD36, LEPR, IRF-5, RGS-1, CD38, TNFRSF25, IL-4, CXCR4, CCR3, IL-8. Most of these modulated genes showed an expression similar to that of normal controls after immunoglobulin replacement. Real time RT-PCR of selected genes and serum levels of IL-4, CXCR4 before and after therapy changed accordingly to gene array results. Interestingly, serum levels of IL-8 remained unchanged, as the corresponding gene, before and after treatment. FACS analysis showed a marked decrease of CD8+T cells and an increase of CD4+T cells following treatment. Moreover we observed a marked increase of CD23−CD27−IgM−IgG− B cells (centrocytes).
Conclusions
Our results are in accordance with previous reports and provide further support to the hypothesis that the benefits of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy are not only related to antibody replacement but also to its ability to modulate the immune response in common variable immunodeficiency.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097571
PMCID: PMC4022614  PMID: 24831519
25.  Intravenous immunoglobulins improve the function and ameliorate joint involvement in systemic sclerosis: a pilot study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(7):977-979.
Background
In systemic sclerosis (SSc), joint involvement may reduce the functional capacity of the hands. Intravenous immunoglobulins have previously been shown to benefit patients with SSc.
Aim
To verify the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulins on joint involvement and function in SSc.
Patients and methods
7 women with SSc, 5 with limited and 2 with diffuse SSc, with a severe and refractory joint involvement were enrolled in the study. Methotrexate and cyclophosphamide pulse therapy did not ameliorate joint symptoms. Hence, intravenous immunoglobulins therapy was prescribed at a dosage of 2 g/kg body weight during 4 days/month for six consecutive courses. The presence of joint tenderness and swelling, and articular deformities (due to primary joint involvement and not due to skin and subcutaneous changes) were evaluated. Before and after 6 months of treatment, patients were subjected to (1) Ritchie Index (RI) evaluation of joint involvement; (2) Dreiser Algo‐Functional Index (IAFD) evaluation of hand joint function; (3) pain visual analogue scale (VAS) to measure joint pain; (4) Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) to evaluate the limitations in everyday living and physical disability; and (5) modified Rodnan Skin Score for skin involvement.
Results
After 6 months of intravenous immunoglobulins therapy, joint pain and tenderness, measured with the VAS, decreased significantly (p<0.03), and hand function (IAFD) improved significantly (p<0.02), together with the quality of life (HAQ; p<0.03). All patients significantly improved, except for one. The skin score after 6 months of intravenous immunoglobulins therapy was significantly reduced (p<0.003).
Conclusion
This pilot study suggests that intravenous immunoglobulins may reduce joint pain and tenderness, with a significant recovery of joint function in patients with SSc with severe and refractory joint involvement. The cost of intravenous immunoglobulins might limit their use only to patients who failed disease‐modifying antirheumatic drugs.
doi:10.1136/ard.2006.060111
PMCID: PMC1955090  PMID: 17344244

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