Feraheme (ferumoxytol; AMAG Pharmaceuticals) is an intravenous (IV) iron maintenance treatment used to help elevate hemoglobin levels in patients with anemia in chronic kidney disease (CKD). The iron is transported via transferrin to erythroid precursor cells. Erythroid precursor cells incorporate the iron into hemoglobin as the cell matures into a red blood cell. Feraheme, and other iron therapies, are often used in combination with erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) therapies to increase the number of patients able to achieve target hemoglobin levels compared to patients on ESA therapies alone (Singh, 2008). Feraheme is comparable to Injectafer (ferric carboxymaltose; Vifor/Luitpold Pharmaceuticals/Zeria) in terms of safety, efficacy, and dosing frequency, however, it is at a significant commercial disadvantage. Feraheme will have difficulty competing against Injectafer, due to Galenica/Vifor Pharma’s dominance of the IV iron market with Venofer (poly-nuclear iron (III)-hydroxide in sucrose; Vifor/Luitpold Pharmaceuticals).
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