Safety and efficacy of voxelotor in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease aged 4 to 11 years

Jeremie H. Estepp, Ram Kalpatthi, Gerald Woods, Sara Trompeter, Robert I. Liem, Kacie Sims, Adlette Inati, Baba P.D. Inusa, Andrew Campbell, Connie Piccone, Miguel R. Abboud, Kim Smith-Whitley, Sandra Dixon, Margaret Tonda, Carla Washington, Noelle M. Griffin, Clark Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a devastating, multisystemic disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The earliest clinical manifestations of SCD can affect infants as young as 6 months of age, and pediatric patients are at risk for acute and life-threatening complications. Early intervention with treatments that target the underlying pathophysiological mechanism of SCD, sickle hemoglobin (HbS) polymerization, are expected to slow disease progression and circumvent disease-associated morbidity and mortality. Procedure: The HOPE-KIDS 1 trial (NCT02850406) is an ongoing four-part, phase 2a, open-label, single- and multiple-dose study to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of voxelotor—a first-in-class HbS polymerization inhibitor—in patients aged 6 months to 17 years with SCD. Initial findings from a cohort of 45 patients aged 4 to 11 years who received voxelotor treatment for up to 48 weeks are reported. Results: Hemoglobin (Hb) response, defined as a >1.0 g/dl increase from baseline, was achieved at week 24 by 47% (n = 16/34) of patients with Hb measurements at baseline and week 24. At week 24, 35% (n = 12/34) and 21% (n = 7/34) of patients had a >1.5 g/dl increase and a >2.0 g/dl increase from baseline in Hb concentration, respectively. Concurrent improvements in hemolytic markers were observed. Voxelotor was well tolerated in this young cohort, with no newly emerging safety signals. Conclusions: Based on its mechanism as an HbS polymerization inhibitor, voxelotor improves Hb levels and markers of hemolysis and has the potential to mitigate SCD-related complications; these results support its use in patients aged ≥4 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29716
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • clinical data
  • hemolytic anemia
  • pediatric
  • sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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