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1.  Efficacy and Safety of IgPro20, a Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin, in Japanese Patients with Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases 
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.  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)
4.  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
5.  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
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.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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
13.  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
14.  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
15.  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
16.  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
17.  New Frontiers in Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Treatment 
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
18.  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
19.  Low-Dose Adrenaline, Promethazine, and Hydrocortisone in the Prevention of Acute Adverse Reactions to Antivenom following Snakebite: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1000435.
In a factorial randomized trial conducted in Sri Lanka, de Silva and colleagues evaluate the safety and efficacy of pretreatments intended to reduce the risk of serious reactions to antivenom following snakebite.
Background
Envenoming from snakebites is most effectively treated by antivenom. However, the antivenom available in South Asian countries commonly causes acute allergic reactions, anaphylactic reactions being particularly serious. We investigated whether adrenaline, promethazine, and hydrocortisone prevent such reactions in secondary referral hospitals in Sri Lanka by conducting a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
Methods and Findings
In total, 1,007 patients were randomized, using a 2×2×2 factorial design, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of adrenaline (0.25 ml of a 1∶1,000 solution subcutaneously), promethazine (25 mg intravenously), and hydrocortisone (200 mg intravenously), each alone and in all possible combinations. The interventions, or matching placebo, were given immediately before infusion of antivenom. Patients were monitored for mild, moderate, or severe adverse reactions for at least 96 h. The prespecified primary end point was the effect of the interventions on the incidence of severe reactions up to and including 48 h after antivenom administration. In total, 752 (75%) patients had acute reactions to antivenom: 9% mild, 48% moderate, and 43% severe; 89% of the reactions occurred within 1 h; and 40% of all patients were given rescue medication (adrenaline, promethazine, and hydrocortisone) during the first hour. Compared with placebo, adrenaline significantly reduced severe reactions to antivenom by 43% (95% CI 25–67) at 1 h and by 38% (95% CI 26–49) up to and including 48 h after antivenom administration; hydrocortisone and promethazine did not. Adding hydrocortisone negated the benefit of adrenaline.
Conclusions
Pretreatment with low-dose adrenaline was safe and reduced the risk of acute severe reactions to snake antivenom. This may be of particular importance in countries where adverse reactions to antivenom are common, although the need to improve the quality of available antivenom cannot be overemphasized.
Trial registration
www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00270777
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Of the 3,000 or so snake species in the world, about 600 are venomous. Venomous snakes, which are particularly common in equatorial and tropical regions, immobilize their prey by injecting modified saliva (venom) into their prey's tissues through their fangs—specialized hollow teeth. Snakes also use their venoms for self-defense and will bite people who threaten, startle, or provoke them. A bite from a highly venomous snake such as a pit viper or cobra can cause widespread bleeding, muscle paralysis, irreversible kidney damage, and tissue destruction (necrosis) around the bite site. All these effects of snakebite are potentially fatal; necrosis can also result in amputation and permanent disability. It is hard to get accurate estimates of the number of people affected by snakebite, but there may be about 2 million envenomings (injections of venom) and 100,000 deaths every year, many of them in rural areas of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Why Was This Study Done?
The best treatment for snakebite is to give antivenom (a mixture of antibodies that neutralize the venom) as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in countries where snakebites are common (for example, Sri Lanka), antivenoms are often of dubious quality, and acute allergic reactions to them frequently occur. Although some of these reactions are mild (for example, rashes), in up to 40% of cases, anaphylaxis—a potentially fatal, whole-body allergic reaction—develops. The major symptoms of anaphylaxis—a sudden drop in blood pressure and breathing difficulties caused by swelling of the airways—can be treated with adrenaline. Injections of antihistamines (for example, promethazine) and hydrocortisone can also help. In an effort to prevent anaphylaxis, these drugs are also widely given before antivenom, but there is little evidence that such “prophylactic” treatment is effective or safe. In this randomized double-blind controlled trial (RCT), the researchers test whether low-dose adrenaline, promethazine, and/or hydrocortisone can prevent acute adverse reactions to antivenom. In an RCT, the effects of various interventions are compared to a placebo (dummy) in groups of randomly chosen patients; neither the patients nor the people caring for them know who is receiving which treatment until the trial is completed.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomized 1,007 patients who had been admitted to secondary referral hospitals in Sri Lanka after snakebite to receive low-dose adrenaline, promethazine, hydrocortisone, or placebo alone and in all possible combinations immediately before treatment with antivenom. The patients were monitored for at least 96 hours for adverse reactions to the antivenom; patients who reacted badly were given adrenaline, promethazine, and hydrocortisone as “rescue medication.” Three-quarters of the patients had acute reactions—mostly moderate or severe—to the antivenom. Most of the acute reactions occurred within an hour of receiving the antivenom, and nearly half of all the patients were given rescue medication during the first hour. Compared with placebo, pretreatment with adrenaline reduced severe reactions to the antivenom by 43% at one hour and by 38% over 48 hours. By contrast, neither hydrocortisone nor promethazine given alone reduced the rate of adverse reactions to the antivenom. Moreover, adding hydrocortisone negated the beneficial effect of adrenaline.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that pretreatment with low-dose adrenaline is safe and reduces the risk of acute severe reactions to snake antivenom, particularly during the first hour after infusion. They do not provide support for pretreatment with promethazine or hydrocortisone, however. Indeed, the findings suggest that the addition of hydrocortisone could negate the benefits of adrenaline, although this finding needs to be treated with caution because of the design of the trial, as does the observed increased risk of death associated with pretreatment with hydrocortisone. More generally, the high rate of acute adverse reactions to antivenom in this trial highlights the importance of improving the quality of antivenoms available in Sri Lanka and other parts of South Asia. The researchers note that the recent World Health Organization guidelines on production, control, and regulation of antivenom should help in this regard but stress that, for now, it is imperative that physicians carefully monitor patients who have been given antivenom and provide prompt treatment of acute reactions when they occur.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000435.
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has pages on snakebite and on anaphylaxis (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website also has pages on snakebite and on anaphylaxis
The World Health Organization has information on snakebite and on snake antivenoms (in several languages); its Guidelines for the Production, Control and Regulation of Snake Antivenom Immunoglobulins are also available
The Global Snakebite Initiative has information on snakebite
A PLoS Medicine Research Article by Anuradhani Kasturiratne and colleagues provides data on the global burden of snakebite
A PLoS Medicine Neglected Diseases Article by José María Gutiérrez and colleagues discusses the neglected problem of snakebite envenoming
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000435
PMCID: PMC3091849  PMID: 21572992
20.  Subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy: a new option for patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases 
Since the 1950s, replacement of immunoglobulin G using human immunoglobulin has been the standard treatment for primary immunodeficiency diseases with defects in antibody production. These patients suffer from recurrent and severe infections, which cause lung damage and shorten their life span. Immunoglobulins given intravenously (IVIG) every 3–4 weeks are effective in preventing serious bacterial infections and improving the quality of life for treated patients. Administration of immunoglobulin subcutaneously (SCIG) is equally effective in preventing infections and has a lower incidence of serious adverse effects compared to IVIG. The tolerability and acceptability of SCIG has been demonstrated in numerous studies showing improvements in quality of life and a preference for subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with antibody deficiencies.
doi:10.2147/BTT.S25188
PMCID: PMC3430092  PMID: 22956859
primary immunodeficiency diseases; subcutaneous immunoglobulin; immunoglobulin G
21.  Subcutaneous versus Intravenous Administration of Rituximab: Pharmacokinetics, CD20 Target Coverage and B-Cell Depletion in Cynomolgus Monkeys 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80533.
The CD20-specific monoclonal antibody rituximab (MabThera®, Rituxan®) is widely used as the backbone of treatment for patients with hematologic disorders. Intravenous administration of rituximab is associated with infusion times of 4–6 hours, and can be associated with infusion-related reactions. Subcutaneous administration of rituximab may reduce this and facilitate administration without infusion-related reactions. We sought to determine the feasibility of achieving equivalent efficacy (measured by endogenous B-cell depletion) and long-term durability of CD20 target coverage for subcutaneously administered rituximab compared with intravenous dosing. In these preclinical studies, male cynomolgus monkeys were treated with either intravenous rituximab or novel subcutaneous formulation of rituximab containing human recombinant DNA-derived hyaluronidase enzyme. Peripheral blood samples were analyzed for serum rituximab concentrations, peripheral B-cell depletion, and CD20 target coverage, including subset analysis according to CD21+ status. Distal lymph node B-cell depletion and CD20 target coverage were also measured. Initial peak serum concentrations of rituximab were significantly higher following intravenous administration than subcutaneous. However, the mean serum rituximab trough concentrations were comparable at 2 and 7 days post-first dose and 9 and 14 days post-second dose. Efficacy of B-cell depletion in both peripheral blood and distal lymph nodes was comparable for both methods. In lymph nodes, 9 days after the second dose with subcutaneous and intravenous rituximab, B-cell levels were decreased by 57% and 42% respectively. Similarly, levels of peripheral blood B cells were depleted by >94% for both subcutaneous and intravenous dosing at all time points. Long-term recovery of free unbound surface CD20 levels was similar, and the duration of B-cell depletion was equally sustained over 2 months for both methods. These results demonstrate that, despite initial peak serum drug level differences, subcutaneous rituximab has similar durability, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy compared with intravenous rituximab.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080533
PMCID: PMC3827219  PMID: 24265828
22.  C.E.R.A. maintains stable hemoglobin in Latin American patients on dialysis 
Background
C.E.R.A. is a continuous erythropoietin receptor activator with characteristics that permit a once-monthly schedule of administration for the maintenance treatment for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. The main objective of this study was to assess the maintenance of Hb concentration with once-monthly intravenous and/or subcutaneous C.E.R.A. therapy in Latin American dialysis patients with chronic renal anemia previously treated with epoetin alfa s.c or i.v 1–3 times per week.
Methods
This was a single-arm, open-label, multicenter, 32-week study of anemic patients with CKD previously treated with epoetin alfa sc or iv 1–3 times per week. After a 4-week screening period, during which mean Hb levels were maintained between 10.5 and 12.5 g/dL on their previous erythropoiesis stimulating agent, eligible patients entered a 16-week C.E.R.A. dose titration period followed by a 4-week efficacy evaluation period (EEP) and a 28-week safety follow-up. The starting dose of C.E.R.A. was based on the previous dose of epoetin alfa. Doses of C.E.R.A. were then adjusted to maintain Hb levels within ±1.0 g/dL of the reference concentration and between 10.5 and 12.5 g/dL. The Hb reference concentration was defined as the mean of all Hb levels during screening. The primary end point was the proportion of patients maintaining a mean Hb concentration (g/dL) within ±1 g/dL of their reference Hb and between 10.5 and 12.5 g/dL during the EEP.
Results
A total of 163 patients from 27 centers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela entered the treatment period and 102 completed the prescribed course of C.E.R.A. Forty-five patients (43.7 %) maintained a mean Hb concentration within ±1 g/dL of their reference Hb value and between 10.5 and 12.5 g/dL during the EEP. The median monthly dose remained constant at 120 μg during the titration period and during the EEP. On the average, there were only 2.3 dose changes per patient in 28 weeks of treatment, covering 7 C.E.R.A. scheduled administrations. 53 % of all dose changes were dose decreases, 47 % increases. A total of 10 AEs and 4 SAEs were considered to be related to the study treatment.
Conclusions
Once-monthly C.E.R.A. treatment effectively maintains stable Hb concentrations in patients with chronic renal anemia undergoing dialysis with a good safety and tolerability profile.
doi:10.1007/s11255-012-0272-3
PMCID: PMC3824352  PMID: 22990412
Anemia; C.E.R.A.; Chronic kidney disease; Hemoglobin
23.  Higher Doses of Subcutaneous IgG Reduce Resource Utilization in Patients with Primary Immunodeficiency 
Journal of Clinical Immunology  2011;32(2):281-289.
The recommended dose of IgG in primary immunodeficiency (PID) has been increasing since its first use. This study aimed to determine if higher subcutaneous IgG doses resulted in improved patient outcomes by comparing results from two parallel clinical studies with similar design. One patient cohort received subcutaneous IgG doses that were 1.5 times higher than their previous intravenous doses (mean 213 mg/kg/week), whereas the other cohort received doses identical to previous subcutaneous or intravenous doses (mean 120 mg/kg/week). While neither cohort had any serious infections, the cohort maintained on higher mean IgG dose had significantly lower rates of non-serious infections (2.76 vs. 5.18 episodes/year, P < 0.0001), hospitalization (0.20 vs. 3.48 days/year, P < 0.0001), antibiotic use (48.50 vs. 72.75 days/year, P < 0.001), and missed work/school activity (2.10 vs. 8.00 days/year, P < 0.001). The higher-dose cohort had lower health care utilization and improved indices of well being compared to the cohort treated with traditional IgG doses.
doi:10.1007/s10875-011-9631-6
PMCID: PMC3305876  PMID: 22193916
Primary immunodeficiency; subcutaneous IgG replacement therapy; infection rate; hospitalization rate; Hizentra
24.  Phase 1 study of recombinant human CD4-immunoglobulin G therapy of patients with AIDS and AIDS-related complex. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1991;35(12):2580-2586.
The safety and pharmacokinetics of recombinant CD4-immunoglobulin G (rCD4-IgG) were evaluated in a phase 1 study with dose escalation. A total of 16 patients, 6 with AIDS and 10 with AIDS-related complex, were evaluated at two university-affiliated hospital clinics. rCD4-IgG was administered once weekly for 12 weeks to four patients each at doses of 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, and 1.0 mg/kg of body weight. Dosing was intravenous for two patients in the 1.0-mg/kg dose group and intramuscular for the remaining patients. Dosing was intravenous for two patients in the 1.0-mg/kg dose group and intramuscular for the remaining patients. Pharmacokinetic, toxicity, and immunologic variables were monitored with all patients. Administration of rCD4-IgG was well tolerated, with no important clinical or immunologic toxicities noted. No subjects required dose reduction or discontinuation of therapy due to toxicity. No consistent changes were seen in human immunodeficiency virus antigen levels in serum or CD4 lymphocyte populations. The volume of distribution was small, and compared with that of rCD4, the half-life of the hybrid molecule was markedly prolonged following intramuscular or intravenous administration. The rate and extent of absorption following intramuscular dosing were variable. Intramuscular administration of rCD4-IgG appears to be inferior to intravenous dosing from a pharmacokinetic standpoint, with lower peak concentrations and variable absorption. After intravenous administration, peak concentrations of rCD4-IgG in serum (20 to 24 micrograms/ml) that have shown antiviral activity in vitro against more sensitive clinical isolates of human immunodeficiency virus were achieved. The peak concentrations in serum after intramuscular administration were below these levels. Treatment with rCD4-IgG was well tolerated at the doses administered to patients in this study but did not result in significant changes in CD4 lymphocyte counts or p24 antigen levels in serum.
PMCID: PMC245434  PMID: 1810192
25.  Home-based subcutaneous immunoglobulin G replacement therapy under real-life conditions in children and adults with antibody deficiency 
Background
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG) therapy is an alternative to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy.
Methods
We evaluated the efficacy and safety of the SCIG Vivaglobin® (formerly known as Beriglobin® SC) under real-life conditions in a post-marketing observational study in 82 patients with primary or secondary antibody deficiencies. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was evaluated in a subset of 30 patients previously treated with IVIG (including 11 children < 14 years) using the Short Form 36 (SF-36) for patients ≥ 14 years of age (adults) and the Child Health Questionnaire - Parental Form 50 (CHQ-PF50) for children < 14 years of age. Treatment preferences were assessed in adults.
Results
The mean serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) trough level during SCIG treatment (7.5 g/L) was higher than during previous IVIG treatment (6.6 g/L; p < 0.01). The investigators assessed the efficacy of SCIG therapy as "excellent" in 89% of patients. No systemic adverse drug reactions were observed. Improvements by ≥ 5 points were observed in 5 of 8 SF36 subscales and in 6 of 12 CHQ-PF50 subscales. Statistically significant improvements (p ≤ 0.05) were observed for the SF-36 subscales of bodily pain, general health perceptions, and vitality (adults), and for the CHQ-PF50 subscales of general health perceptions, parental impact - time, parental impact - emotional, and family activities (children). Patients preferred SCIG over IVIG therapy (92%) and home therapy over therapy at the clinic/physician (83%).
Conclusion
This study confirms that therapy with Vivaglobin® at home is effective, safe, well tolerated, and improves quality of life in patients with antibody deficiency.
doi:10.1186/2047-783X-15-6-238
PMCID: PMC3351992  PMID: 20696632
antibody deficiency; subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy; quality of life; children; adults

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