Sutimlimab is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody in development for the treatment of cold agglutinin disease, a rare form of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, caused by cold-reacting autoantibodies. These antibodies bind to red blood cell membranes and destroy them, leading to anaemia. Symptoms include chronic debilitating fatigue, acrocyanosis, shortness of breath and other anaemia-related symptoms, leading to a poor quality of life and increased health resource utilization. In chronic cold agglutinin disease, the patient is more symptomatic during winter months. Therapeutic options may range from using warm clothing and avoiding exposure to cold weather to blood transfusions and chemotherapy.
Sutimlimab takes a novel approach by binding to the cold-reacting autoantibodies and preventing them from attacking the red blood cells. Sutimlimab acts by selectively inhibiting one of the three complement pathways in the immune system leaving the other two pathways intact. This potentially preserves some of complement’s immune functions although it is unclear whether this would provide a clinical benefit and data from the clinical trials will be needed to better understand this. If approved, sutimlimab has the potential to become the first treatment option for cold agglutinin disease.
Plasminogen (human) as intravenous infusion is in clinical development for people with hypoplasminogenemia. Hypoplasminogenemia is an ultra-rare, chronic, genetic condition associated with inflamed growths on the mucous membranes, the moist tissues that line body openings such as the eye, mouth, nasopharynx, trachea, and female genital tract. The growths are caused by the deposition of fibrin (a protein involved in blood clotting) and by inflammation. Growths can lead to severe medical problems including vision loss, ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract, and breathing difficulties caused by obstruction of the airway.