Promacta (eltrombopag)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.


Approval Status:

Approved November 2008

Specific Treatments:


Therapeutic Areas

General Information

Eltrombopag olamine is a small molecule thrombopoietin receptor agonist for oral administration. Eltrombopag interacts with the transmembrane domain of the thrombopoietin receptor (also known as cMpl) leading to increased platelet production.

Promacta is specifically indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic immune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins, or splenectomy.

Promacta is supplied as a tablet designed for oral administration. The recommended initial dose of the drug is 50 mg once daily except in patients who are of East Asian ancestry or who have moderate to severe hepatic impairment. In this population, and for patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment, the recommended initial dose of Promacta is 25 mg once daily. Promacta should be adjusted to achieve and maintain a platelet count >50 x 109/L as necessary to reduce the risk for bleeding. The dosing of Promacta should not exceed 75 mg daily.

Clinical Results

FDA Approval
FDA approval of Promacta was based on the results of three clinical trials: two randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled studies and an open-label extension study.

Studies 1 and 2
Study 1 randomized 114 subjects to Promacta 50 mg or placebo. Study 2 randomized 117 subjects to placebo or one of three dose regimens of Promacta: 30 mg, 50 mg, or 75 mg, each administered daily. Promacta was administered over a maximum treatment period of 6 weeks, followed by 6 weeks off therapy. Promacta or placebo were discontinued if the platelet count exceeded 200 x 10(9)/L. The primary efficacy endpoint was response rate, defined as a shift from a baseline platelet count of <30 x 10(9)/L to >50 x 10(9)/L at any time during the treatment period. In Study 1, the response rate was met by 59% in the Promacta (50 mg) arm compared to 16% in the placebo group (p <0.001). In Study 2, the response rate was met by 70% in the Promacta (50 mg) arm compared to 11% in the placebo group (p <0.001). Within the placebo and 50 mg dose group, the study drug was discontinued due to an increase in platelet counts to >200 x 10(9)/L in 3% and 27% of the patients, respectively.

Extension Study
This open label, single arm study enrolled any subjects who had completed a prior trial with Promacta. The trial was designed to decrease the dose or eliminate the need for any concomitant ITP medications. Promacta was administered to 109 subjects; 74 completed 3 months of treatment, 53 completed 6 months and three patients completed one year of therapy. The median baseline platelet count was 18 x 10(9)/L prior to administration of Promacta. Median platelet counts at 3, 6, and 9 months on study were 74 x 109/L, 67 x 10(9)/L, and 95 x 10(9)/L, respectively. The median daily dose of Promacta following 6 months of therapy was 50 mg (n = 53); the median daily dose was also 50 mg among patients with no change in the dose regimen of Promacta over 2 months or more of therapy (n = 45).

Ongoing Study Commitments
  • GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to complete trial TRA102537, a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 study, to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of eltrombopag, a thrombopoietin receptor agonist, administered for 6 months as oral tablets once daily in adult subjects with previously treated chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
    Protocol submission: Completed
    Trial start date: Underway
    Final Report Submission: November 2009

  • GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to complete trial TRA108057, an open-label repeat dosing study of eltrombopag olamine in adult subjects, with chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
    Protocol submission: Completed
    Trial start date: Underway
    Final Report Submission: April 2009

  • GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to develop and maintain a prospective, observational pregnancy exposure registry study conducted in the United States that compares the pregnancy and fetal outcomes of women exposed to Promacta Tablets during pregnancy to an unexposed control population. The registry will detect and record major and minor congenital anomalies, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, elective terminations, adverse effects on immune system development, platelet number and function, neoplasm formation, bone marrow reticulin formation, thrombotic events, and any serious pregnancy outcomes. These events will also be assessed among infants through at least the first year of life.
    Final Protocol Submission: May 2009
    Study Start Date: November 2009
    First Interim Report Submission: November 2010, then annually
    Final Report Submission: November 2019

  • GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to conduct a milk-only lactation study in the subset of women enrolled in the pregnancy registry that choose to breastfeed their infants. This study will be designed to detect the presence and concentration of Promacta Tablets in breast milk and any effects on milk production and composition. The study will include a symptom diary for mothers to record any adverse effects in the breastfeeding infants.
    Final protocol Submission: May 2009
    Study Start Date: November 2009
    First Interim Report Submission: November 2010, then annually
    Final Report Submission: November 2019

  • GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to conduct trial TRA105325 entitled, EXTEND (Eltrombopag extended dosing study): an extension study of eltrombopag olamine in adults, with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), previously enrolled in an eltrombopag study. The protocol for this trial was previously submitted to FDA and the study is currently active. The protocol will be modified to include performance of bone marrow examinations prior to the initiation of Promacta (eltrombopag) Tablets, following 12 months of Promacta Tablets therapy as well as following the completion of 24 months of Promacta Tablets therapy; enrollment will continue until these data are obtained from at least 150 patients. An interim report will contain, in addition to any other items, results of bone marrow evaluations for patients who have completed bone marrow evaluations at baseline and following 12 months of Promacta Tablets therapy.
    Protocol Modification Submission: January 2009
    First Interim Report Submission: January 2012
    Final Report Submission: January 2014

Side Effects

Adverse events associated with the use of Promacta may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Menorrhagia
  • Myalgia
  • Paresthesia
  • Cataract

Mechanism of Action

Eltrombopag is an orally bioavailable, small-molecule thrombopoietin receptor agonist that interacts with the transmembrane domain of the human thrombopoietin receptor. It initiates signaling cascades that induce proliferation and differentiation of megakaryocytes from bone marrow progenitor cells.

Literature References

Jenkins JM, Williams D, Deng Y, Uhl J, Kitchen V, Collins D, Erickson-Miller CL Phase 1 clinical study of eltrombopag, an oral, nonpeptide thrombopoietin receptor agonist. Blood 2007 Jun 1;109(11):4739-41

Bussel JB, Cheng G, Saleh MN, Psaila B, Kovaleva L, Meddeb B, Kloczko J, Hassani H, Mayer B, Stone NL, Arning M, Provan D, Jenkins JM Eltrombopag for the treatment of chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. New England Journal of Medicene 2007 Nov 29;357(22):2237-47

Erickson-Miller CL, Delorme E, Tian SS, Hopson CB, Landis AJ, Valoret EI, Sellers TS, Rosen J, Miller SG, Luengo JI, Duffy KJ, Jenkins JM Preclinical Activity of Eltrombopag (SB-497115), an Oral, Non-peptide Thrombopoietin Receptor Agonist. Stem Cells 2008 Nov 26

Additional Information

For additional information regarding Promacta or thrombocytopenia, please visit the Promacta web page.


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