A clinical trial investigated a drug called rivipansel, which may help treat vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) in people with sickle cell disease. VOC is a painful condition where blood vessels become blocked by sickle-shaped red blood cells, which can lead to hospitalization and significant suffering.
Rivipansel is a drug that blocks a molecule called E-selectin, which is involved in the adhesion of sickle cells to the blood vessel wall. By blocking E-selectin, rivipansel may prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce inflammation, which are key features of VOC.
The trial, called RESET, included 345 people with VOC who were admitted to the hospital. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either rivipansel or a placebo, in addition to their usual care.
The main goal of the trial was to see how long it took for people to be ready to leave the hospital. The trial found that there was no significant difference in this regard between the people who received rivipansel and those who received the placebo. However, when the researchers looked at the data more closely, they found that people who received rivipansel early (within 26.4 hours of feeling pain) were able to leave the hospital sooner than those who received the placebo. They also used less medication to manage their pain.
The drug was well-tolerated, and there were no major differences in side effects between the people who received rivipansel and those who received the placebo.