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Safety and tolerability of carbamylated erythropoietin in Friedreich's ataxia


  • Funding agencies: The study was supported by Lundbeck A/S, Denmark.

  • Relevant conflicts of interest/financial disclosures: The study was supported by Lundbeck A/S, Denmark. Sylvia Boesch received remuneration for consultative and advisory services. Caterina Mariotti, Alessandro Filla, Thomas Klockgether, Thomas Klopstock, and Ludger Schöls received honoraria for consultancy. Karen Manicom is an employee Lundbeck A/S, Denmark.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.



Erythropoietin (EPO) derivatives have been found to increase frataxin levels in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) in vitro. This multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II clinical trial aimed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of Lu AA24493 (carbamylated EPO; CEPO).


Thirty-six ambulatory FRDA patients harboring >400 GAA repeats were 2:1 randomly assigned to either CEPO in a fixed dose (325 µg thrice-weekly) or placebo. Safety and tolerability were assessed up to 103 days after baseline. Secondary outcome measures of efficacy (exploration of biomarkers and ataxia ratings) were performed up to 43 days after baseline.


All patients received six doses of study medication. Adverse events were equally distributed between CEPO and placebo. There was no evidence for immunogenicity of CEPO after multiple dosing. Biomarkers, such as frataxin, or measures for oxidative stress and ataxia ratings did not differ between CEPO and placebo.


CEPO was safe and well tolerated in a 2-week treatment phase. Secondary outcome measures remained without apparent difference between CEPO and placebo. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

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