Preventive Takhzyro Now Available in Québec Following Takeda Bid Win

Margarida Maia, PhD avatar

by Margarida Maia, PhD |

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Takeda Canada has won a bid making it Héma-Québec’s sole source of Takhzyro (lanadelumab) — an approved under-the-skin treatment to prevent attacks of hereditary angioedema (HAE) — through at least 2024.

Takhzyro is now available as a prophylaxis treatment for people with HAE in Québec, according to the company.

The bid is valid for two years, and the agreement includes an option for an additional two-year extension. Québec is the second-largest province in Canada by population.

“We’re extremely proud of this agreement with Héma-Québec and what it represents for HAE patients,” Rute Fernandes, general manager of Takeda Canada, said in a press release.

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HAE is marked by sudden attacks of swelling in the deeper layers of the skin in different parts of the body, such as the face, throat, arms, and legs. Left untreated, these swelling attacks can occur as often as every week. In most attacks, symptoms last for about three or four days.

“Patients with HAE constantly live in fear of their next attack, often disrupting day to day activities such as work, family and social interactions, and significantly impacting their quality of life,” said Charles St. Pierre, who is the president of Québec’s Hereditary Angioedema Association.

“The HAE community is delighted that Takhzyro is now available for patients living in Québec because having access to a treatment option that can prevent attacks would be life-changing for those living with HAE,” St. Pierre added.

Takhzyro is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to and blocks kallikrein, a protein in blood that increases the levels of bradykinin. This signaling molecule causes blood vessels to widen and become leaky, which causes swelling. By blocking kallikrein, Takhzyro lowers the levels of bradykinin, and this helps to prevent swelling.

The medicine is given prophylactically, or as a preventive measure, at a starting dose of 300 mg every two weeks. If patients remain free of attacks, doctors can reduce the frequency of injection to once every four weeks.

“My team and I took part in the clinical trials that led to the approval of Takhzyro, and we are pleased that the medicine is now available for the treatment of patients with hereditary angioedema,” said Jacques Hebert, MD, who heads the immunology and allergy clinic at CHUL in Québec.

“The treatment philosophy has evolved over the years. About ten years ago, prophylaxis was used to reduce the morbidity and mortality related to this clinical condition. With modern medicine that is proven to be safe and effective, such as Takhzyro, prophylaxis aims to help patients lead normal lives without recurrence or attacks,” Hebert added.

“Having access to safe and effective preventive treatment is a major advancement for our patients,” said Rémi Gagnon, MD, who heads the department of allergy and immunology at CHU in Québec. 

Besides Canada, Takhzyro is approved in the U.S., Europe, and Australia for preventing HAE attacks in patients ages 12 and older. In some countries, the medication also is available in the form of a more convenient, ready-to-use prefilled syringe.