Fresh off an impressive initial public offering earlier in 2016 and the launch of its sickle cell disease medication, Global Blood Therapeutics announced new patient data on test subjects who were treated with the drug for one month.
So far, Global Blood’s GBT440 drug has been used on 30 patients, up from an initial six patients who were part of the company’s tests. The new results come from a clinical trial announced on Sunday, and still point to a promising future for the drug, which reduces sickled red blood cells in patients, as well as improvements in other key factors used to measure the disease. The data, however, also brought up new questions about GBT440, though these questions may only be answered when more patients are tested and more time is allowed for the tests to be carried out.
The clinical data released on Sunday involved 22 sickle cell patients who were divided into two groups, with one group receiving 500 mg of GBT440, and the second group getting 700 mg of GBT440. A third group of eight served as the placebo group. Median sickle cell counts dropped by 56 percent for those in the 500 mg group, and by 46 percent for those in the 700 mg group. Those in the placebo group saw an increase of 14 percent in median sickle cells.
The new decrease in sickle cell counts remained solid, but was considerably smaller than the 80 percent drop reported in the first six patients. Global Blood CEO Ted Love was quoted as saying that this was an “encouraging’ response, and that there was high variability anyway between sickle cell patients, based on the severity of their disease. No safety issues have been reported in conjunction with GBT440.