Treatment for Sickle Cell Disease Gets FDA Approval

The FDA has approved the first treatment ever for sickle cell disease.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - It's a watershed moment for people who suffer from a rare and painful blood disorder.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the FDA has approved the first treatment for patients with sickle cell disease.

L-Glutamine oral powder, or Endure, was shown to reduce both rates of hospital visits and admissions for acute sickle cell crisis as well as the incidence of acute chest syndrome in patients 5-years and older. 

Sickle cell disease is a lifelong inherited disorder in which red blood cells, normally round, are crescent or sickle shaped, due to abnormal hemoglobin. This can impede blood flow.

Sickle Cell Disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans. It is most common in blacks/African-American and Latinos..

And this Friday, September 1 marks the 50th anniversary of a major public health initiative---it's Newborn Screening Awareness month.

Today, newborns in most states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are screened for at least 29 conditions within the first few days after birth.

Ten states test for 50 or more conditions. All may not be noticeable at the time of birth, but can cause serious disability or even death if not treated quickly.

Newborn screenings detect a treatable condition in about 1 in 300 babies born each year, a total of about 12,500 cases each year.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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