Caterina Minniti, MD: Leg Ulcers in Sickle Cell Patients

February 22, 2021
Jonathan Alicea

An expert discusses findings that showed voxelotor (Oxbryta) improved leg ulcers in patients with sickle cell disease.

Currently, there are no approved treatments for leg ulcers, one of one several presentations associated with sickle cell disease.

However, a recent post-hoc analysis of the HOPE trial, led by Caterina Minniti, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, noted improvements or resolutions in leg ulcers among patients receiving voxelotor. 

These improvements were reported as early as 24 weeks into treatment, most notably in the treatment group receiving the highest dosing (1500 mg).

“Now, you might think that 24 weeks is a long time because it’s six months,” Minniti told HCPLive® in a recent interview. “But in reality, leg ulcers in patients with sickle cell disease lasts a very long time.”

There was a less notable effect of treatment on patient leg ulcers among those who received a lower dosage (900 mg).

Nevertheless, Minniti expressed optimism about the implications for these findings

“We were really excited,” she said. “Anything that may hasten the healing is extremely beneficial.”

She also acknowledged next steps for her and her team, which include conducting a prospective, randomized trial to evaluate, in greater depth, leg ulcer outcomes and healing among patients.

This study will enroll 80 patients and randomize them 1:1 to voxelotor 1500 mg or placebo.

Furthermore, Minniti noted, they hope to carry out trials and collect data in countries where leg ulcers are even more prevalent and where the need is greater.


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