Darbepoetin alfa for the treatment of anemia in pediatric patients with chronic kidney disease

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Darbepoetin alfa, an erythropoiesis-stimulating glycoprotein, has proved efficacious in the treatment of anemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adult subjects. However, little information is available from pediatric populations. We conducted an open-label, non-inferiority, 28-week study comparing the efficacy of darbepoetin alfa with that of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) in pediatric subjects with CKD. Subjects, aged 1-18, who were receiving stable rHuEpo treatment (n=124) were randomized (1:2) to either continue receiving rHuEpo or convert to darbepoetin alfa, with doses titrated to achieve and maintain hemoglobin (Hb) levels between 10.0 and 12.5 g/dl. Darbepoetin alfa was considered to be non-inferior to rHuEpo if the lower limit of the two-sided 95% confidence interval (CI) for the difference in the mean change in Hb between the two treatment groups was above -1.0 g/dl. The adjusted mean change in Hb between the baseline and the evaluation period for the rHuEpo and darbepoetin alfa groups was -0.16 g/dl and 0.15 g/dl, respectively, with a difference of 0.31 g/dl (95% CI: -0.45, 1.07) between the means. These results, and the comparable safety profiles, demonstrate that darbepoetin alfa is non-inferior to rHuEpo in the treatment of anemia in pediatric patients with CKD.

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