The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Kalbitor (ecallantide), to treat the potentially life-threatening fluid build-up that can occur in people with the rare genetic condition hereditary angioedema (HAE).

The treatment, marketed by Dyax Corp, is a liquid intended to be injected under the skin for patients aged 16 and older who experience HAE attacks, characterised by rapid and serious swelling of the face or body, potentially resulting in permanent disfigurement, disability or death.

The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director of the Office of New Drugs John Jenkins said that Kalbitor offers another potentially life-saving option for those people with HAE.

Kalbitor is the second drug marketed in the US to treat HAE attacks after the FDA approved Berinert, a C1 inhibitor derived from blood plasma in October.