Background: Enarodustat (JTZ-951) is an orally available hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor that increases endogenous erythropoietin levels in the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Objective: A phase 2b study of enarodustat to assess the hemoglobin (Hb) response, safety, and maintenance dosage was conducted in Japanese anemic patients with hemodialysis-dependent CKD. Methods: Subjects receiving a stable dose of an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent were randomized to receive once-daily enarodustat at a dose of 2, 4, or 6 mg or placebo in a double-blind manner for 6 weeks (Period 1) followed by 24-week open treatment with enarodustat, adjusted in the range of 2-8 mg to maintain Hb within a target range (10.0-12.0 g/dL; Period 2). Results: Change in Hb from baseline increased with enarodustat dose in Period 1. In Period 2, the proportion of subjects who maintained their Hb level within the target range at the end of treatment was 65.1%. To maintain Hb levels within the target range over the course of Period 2, approximately 80% of subjects required 2 dose adjustments or fewer. Enarodustat decreased hepcidin and ferritin levels, increased total iron-binding capacity, and was generally well tolerated. Conclusions: Enarodustat corrected and maintained Hb levels in anemic patients with hemodialysis-dependent CKD. Phase 3 studies of enarodustat are currently ongoing.
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