Roche’s erythropoietin drug, Cera, successfully controls anaemia in kidney dialysis patients, according to new data from the Swiss company.

The twelve-month study, which included 61 patients, was an extension of a Phase II trial in dialysis patients with chronic renal anaemia who were previously treated with subcutaneous epoetin. Data showed that Cera provided a consistent haemoglobin response regardless of how frequently it was administered. A combined analysis of this study and another found that haemoglobin levels were maintained within the target range recommended by international treatment guidelines and were achieved irrespective of patients’ gender, race, age or diabetic status.

The Swiss company notes that increasing the numbers of patients who are maintained within target haemoglobin levels set by treatment guidelines is a major challenge and sometimes difficult for physicians to achieve in the treatment of anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease. This control is important as haemoglobin levels are associated with lower mortality risk and reduced hospitalisation as well as increases in patient quality of life and physical functioning.

Cera, which works by stimulating red blood cell production, is currently in Phase III of its development in chronic kidney disease and Roche aims to file the product with health authorities around the world next year.