NIAID Now: Repurposed Drug Shows Promise for Treating Rare Eosinophilic Diseases
Eosinophils normally comprise a small portion of the body’s white blood cell population and help mediate inflammation and fight parasitic infections. Elevated levels of these cells can lead to serious health problems, including hypereosinophilic syndromes (HES)—rare, chronic and sometimes life-threatening disorders in which very high numbers of eosinophils are present in the blood and tissues.
Earlier this month, scientists from NIAID and Knopp Biosciences reported that dexpramipexole, a drug initially developed to treat neurological diseases, benefited a subset of patients with HES. Their findings, published online in the journal Blood, help lay the groundwork for a larger clinical trial to further evaluate this potential new HES treatment.