Washington: An experimental drug designed to help regulate the blood's iron supply shows promise as a viable first treatment for anaemia of inflammation.
The present treatment strategy for anaemia of inflammation targets the underlying disease or infection.
But recent research has sought to explore additional options for patients whose inflammation is difficult to control or when the cause of inflammation is unknown.
Hepcidin, which is the principal regulator of iron, has drawn a lot of attention from researchers developing novel therapies for blood disorders.
One hepcidin inhibitor, called lexaptepid pegol (lexaptepid) has shown efficacy in treating anaemia of inflammation in animal studies and now researchers have tried the experiment in human beings.
Lexaptepid inactivates hepcidin, thereby maintaining the transport of iron to the bloodstream.
"It is quite encouraging that lexaptepid helped maintain appropriate levels of iron in the bloodstream of healthy volunteers without compromising the immune response," said Lucas van Eijk of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
The results appeared in Blood Journal of American Society of Hematology.