Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare, clonal, hematopoietic stem cell disorder that manifests with a complement-mediated hemolytic anemia, bone marrow failure and a propensity for thrombosis. These patients experience both intra- and extravascular hemolysis in the context of underlying complement activation. Currently eculizumab effectively blocks the intravascular hemolysis PNH. There remains an unmet clinical need for a complement inhibitor with activity early in the complement cascade to block complement at the classical and alternative pathways. C1 esterase inhibitor (C1INH) is an endogenous human plasma protein that has broad inhibitory activity in the complement pathway through inhibition of the classical pathway by binding C1r and C1s and inhibits the mannose-binding lectin-associated serine proteases in the lectin pathway. In this study, we show that commercially available plasma derived C1INH prevents lysis induced by the alternative complement pathway, of PNH erythrocytes in human serum. Importantly, C1INH was able to block the accumulation of C3 degradation products on CD55 deficient erythrocytes from PNH patient on eculizumab therapy. This could suggest a role for inhibition of earlier phases of the complement cascade than that currently inhibited by eculizumab for incomplete or non-responders to that therapy.
- paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)