A Drug That Treats Sickle Cell?

    A hydroxyurea capsule against a white backgroundDespite its long scientific and medical history, sickle cell disease lags behind most other well-known diseases when it comes to the availability of effective drugs and treatments. Currently, there is only one drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sickle cell disease.

    It’s hydroxyurea.

    Hydroxyurea was developed in 1869 and more than a century later, in 1998, was approved for treatment of sickle cell disease. Hydroxyurea helps reduce the frequency of painful crises and the need for blood transfusions in people with sickle cell disease.

    Still, patients and families as well as their healthcare providers have been discouraged because it has been 14 years since the approval of hydroxyurea and we’ve had no new drugs for treating those with sickle cell disease.

    So you can imagine how excited I was to attend the First Annual Sickle Cell Disease Therapeutics Conference (http://www.scdconference.com/) on September 19 and learn about the new drugs in development for sickle cell disease

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