A recent study presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s 2021 Virtual Spring Clinical Meetings, April 6–10, found pegloticase to be safe and effective in patients with gout who are also on dialysis. Pegloticase is a pegylated recombinant form of uricase and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2010 to treat adults with chronic gout refractory to conventional treatment.1 The treatment is a urate-oxidase enzyme that converts uric acid to allantoin, an inactive and water-soluble uric acid metabolite that is easily excreted from the body.
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Explore This IssueJune 2021
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In the study, Bleyer et al. evaluated pegloticase in patients with uncontrolled gout who were dialysis dependent, a group not included in pre-marketing clinical trials of the agent.2 Using data from the U.S. Renal Data System (USRDS), researchers studied real-world dialysis patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) treated with pegloticase from 2012 to 2017. Patient characteristics and treatment parameters were evaluated.
In the five years of analyzed data, researchers identified 1,824 unique pegloticase claims, with 136 patients prescribed the treatment. Of these patients, 77 patients received pegloticase after ESRD onset, and 59 patients started pegloticase in a two-year period prior to developing ESRD. Of the 77 patients who used pegloticase post-ESRD, 42 patients had dialysis claims between 2012 and 2017 and were undergoing routine outpatient dialysis before starting pegloticase treatment. These 42 patients were evaluated in this analysis.
Patients were mostly male (76%), white (55%) and had a mean age of 53.5 ± 14.5 years. The majority of patients were between the ages of 45 and 64 (55%). The mean dialysis duration was 31.9 ± 42.9 months, with most patients receiving hemodialysis (76%), continuous cycling peritoneal dialysis (19%) or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (5%). The mean pegloticase dose was 9.7 mg, and the median interval between pegloticase doses was 14 days (mean: 19.5 days). Nine patients (21%) received at least 12 infusions.
The most common causes of ESRD in these patients were: diabetes (38%), hypertension (26%) and glomerulonephritis (17%). Their most common comorbidities upon dialysis initiation were diabetes (45%), hypertension (81.0%), congestive heart failure (24%), cerebrovascular disease (5%) and cancer (5%). Most patients had more than one comorbidity.
Ninety percent of patients were taking erythropoiesis-stimulating agents prior to starting pegloticase, while 88% of patients started taking erythropoiesis-stimulating agents after commencing pegloticase treatment. Patient hemoglobin levels were similar before and after pegloticase treatment.
The post-ESRD, office-based pegloticase prescribers were mostly rheumatologists (38%). Other office-based prescribers included hematologists, oncologists, physician assistants, pediatricians, internal medicine physicians and family practice physicians. Prescribers at outpatient dialysis facilities accounted for 58% of the post-ESRD pegloticase claims.