Drug Approved for Inherited Blood Disorder

Exjade removes excess iron, FDA says

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Exjade (deferasirox) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to remove excess iron in the blood among people with a genetic blood disorder called non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT).

Too much iron in the blood can damage vital organs, the agency said Wednesday in a news release.

Thalassemia typically leads to the production of fewer red blood cells and less hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. NTDT is a milder form of thalassemia that unlike other forms, does not require frequent blood transfusions. Thalassemia affects about 1,000 people in the United States, the FDA said.

The FDA previously approved Exjade to treat chronic iron overload among people who require blood transfusions.

The drug is produced by Novartis, East Hanover, N.J.

More information

The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has more about thalassemia.

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