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Orphan Drug Designation Granted for CSL Behring’s Investigational Plasma-Derived Hemopexin Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease

Global biotherapeutics leader CSL Behring announced today that its investigational, plasma-derived hemopexin therapy (CSL889) received orphan drug designation from both the European Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Orphan Products Development for the treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD). These designations grant special status to drugs and biological products intended to treat a rare disease, affecting less than 200,000 patients in the US or affecting not more than five in 10,000 people in the European Union.

CSL889 is a form of plasma-derived hemopexin, an important, naturally occurring protein produced in the body whose levels are decreased in patients with SCD. Low levels of hemopexin have been associated with increased symptoms in SCD, particularly acute vaso-occlusive crises (VOC).