Subcutaneous C.E.R.A. for the Maintenance Treatment of Anemia in Pediatric Patients With CKD: A Phase 2, Open-Label, Single-Arm, Multicenter Study.

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DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2022.11.006


RATIONALE & OBJECTIVE: The optimum starting dose of intravenous continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (C.E.R.A.) has been previously determined; this study ascertains the optimum starting dose of subcutaneous C.E.R.A. administration in pediatric patients.

STUDY DESIGN: Phase 2, open-label, single-arm, multicenter study.

SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged 3 months to 17 years with renal anemia and chronic kidney disease (CKD; including those treated with maintenance dialysis and those not treated with dialysis) who were receiving maintenance treatment with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs).

INTERVENTION: Subcutaneous C.E.R.A. administration every 4 weeks (starting dose was based on defined conversion factors).

OUTCOME: The primary outcome was the change in hemoglobin concentration between the baseline and evaluation period for each patient. Secondary efficacy measures and safety were also evaluated.

RESULTS: Forty patients aged 0.4-17.7 years were enrolled. The study achieved its primary outcome: the mean change in hemoglobin concentration was an increase of 0.48g/dL; the 95% confidence interval (0.15-0.82) and standard deviation (±1.03) were within the prespecified boundaries (-1 to 1g/dL and<1.5g/dL, respectively). Mean hemoglobin concentrations were maintained within the target 10-12g/dL range in 24 of 38 patients and within±1g/dL of the baseline in 19 of 38 patients, and the median C.E.R.A. subcutaneous dose decreased over time. Efficacy in key subgroups (age group, dialysis type, prior ESA treatment) was consistent with the primary outcome. Thirty-eight patients completed the core period; 25 chose to enter the safety extension period. Safety was consistent with prior studies, with no new signals.

LIMITATIONS: Single-arm and open-label study; small sample size.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric patients with anemia secondary to CKD who were on, or not on, dialysis could be safely and effectively switched from maintenance ESAs to subcutaneous C.E.R.A. administered every 4 weeks, using defined dose-conversion factors to determine the optimum starting dose.

FUNDING: F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The SKIPPER trial registered at with study number NCT03552393.

PLAIN-LANGUAGE SUMMARY: Anemia, a complication of chronic kidney disease, is associated with poor quality of life and an increased risk of hospitalization and mortality. The current treatments for anemia include iron therapy and erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs); however, the relatively short half-lives of the ESAs epoetin alfa/beta or darbepoetin alfa may require more frequent dosing and hospital visits compared with the ESA known as continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (C.E.R.A.). A previous study demonstrated that children aged 5 years or more with anemia associated with chronic kidney disease who were on hemodialysis could be switched to intravenous C.E.R.A. from their existing epoetin alfa/beta or darbepoetin alfa treatment. This study provides evidence that subcutaneous C.E.R.A. can safely and effectively treat anemia in children, including those aged(peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis).

Journal Title

American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Child; Darbepoetin alfa; Epoetin Alfa; Quality of Life; Erythropoietin; Anemia; Hematinics; Renal Insufficiency, Chronic; Renal Dialysis; Hemoglobins


Anemia; Mircera; chronic kidney disease (CKD); continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (C.E.R.A.); dialysis; drug dosing; erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA); hemoglobin; injection pain; methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta; pediatric; subcutaneous

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