Healthcare Industry News:  C1 inhibitor 


 News Release - February 11, 2008

ACAAI Publishes New Supplement on Hereditary Angioedema

Publication Focuses on Causes, Emerging Treatments

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) has published for the first time a special supplement to its medical journal, Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, titled “Hereditary Angioedema: A Current State-of-the-Art Review.” The nearly 50 page publication sheds new light on this often misunderstood disease.

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare, life-threatening, genetic disease caused by the deficiency of the C1 inhibitor plasma protein, which controls inflammation. It is characterized by random episodes of disfiguring and painful swelling of the extremities, face, abdomen, urogenital tract and – most dangerously – laryngeal tract. Patients with the disease struggle with an often uninformed medical community and inadequate treatment options.

“Now more than ever, with several new treatments on the horizon, there is a need to advance our educational efforts to physicians about HAE. We believe this supplement is an important milestone for the allergy community and the patients who suffer from this debilitating and potentially fatal disease,” said Jonathan A. Bernstein, MD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, who served as guest editor of the supplement. “With an estimated U.S. patient population at as many as 10,000 – and possibly thousands more – HAE is a rare disorder that is now finally getting the attention it deserves.”

The current means of preventing HAE attacks is treatment with anabolic steroids, which come with significant side effects, such as liver toxicity, carcinogenicity and virilization; there is currently no approved therapy for reducing the severity or duration of attacks once they occur.

“Hereditary Angioedema: A Current State-of-the-Art Review” provides data on emerging therapies that hold promise for those suffering with HAE; particularly two new treatments that are currently under review at the FDA.

“The ACAAI is proud to serve as a leader in advancing our understanding about HAE, with experts in the field doing hard work to bring real solutions to those suffering from this disease,” said Richard Gower, MD, an allergy specialist in Spokane, Wash., and ACAAI president-elect. “In the US, patients with HAE have had access only to supportive care and inadequate preventive care, but we are now on the brink of providing effective treatments for attacks and even therapies to prevent attacks, helping these patients return to a life of relative normalcy.”

Michael M. Frank, MD, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C., one of the authors featured in the publication, concludes that “the outlook for the new, effective short-term therapy appears to be excellent. In the future, a whole new therapeutic armamentarium to care for patients with HAE should be available in the United States.”


The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, IL that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

For more information on the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, or a referral to an allergist-immunologist, visit

Patient Support

The Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA) is a patient advocacy organization dedicated to expediting US approval of safer and more effective HAE therapies. HAEA provides a wide range of services that include clinical trial placement, physician referrals, education and individualized patient case management. For more information on the Hereditary Angioedema Association, visit or call its toll free number (866) 580-8178.

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare orphan diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service. For more information on the National Organization for Rare Disorders, visit

Source: The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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