Hepcidin mimetics in polycythemia vera: resolving the irony of iron deficiency and erythrocytosis

Shivani Handa, Yelena Ginzburg, Ronald Hoffman, Marina Kremyanskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewDevelopment of hepcidin therapeutics has been a ground-breaking discovery in restoring iron homeostasis in several haematological disorders. The hepcidin mimetic, rusfertide, is in late-stage clinical development for treating polycythemia vera patients with a global phase 3 trial [NCT05210790] currently underway. Rusfertide serves as the first possible noncytoreductive therapeutic option to maintain haematocrit control and avoid phlebotomy in polycythemia vera patients. In this comprehensive review, we discuss the pathobiology of dysregulated iron metabolism in polycythemia vera, provide the rationale for targeting the hepcidin-ferroportin axis and elaborate on the preclinical and clinical trial evidence supporting the role of hepcidin mimetics in polycythemia vera.Recent findingsRecently, updated results from two phase 2 clinical trials [NCT04057040 & NCT04767802] of rusfertide (PTG300) demonstrate that the drug is highly effective in eliminating the need for therapeutic phlebotomies, normalizing haematological parameters, repleting iron stores and relieving constitutional symptoms in patients with polycythemia vera. In light of these findings, additional hepcidin mimetic agents are also being evaluated in polycythemia vera patients.SummaryHepcidin agonists essentially serve as a 'chemical phlebotomy' and are poised to vastly improve the quality of life for phlebotomy requiring polycythemia vera patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Hematology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • hepcidin mimetics
  • myeloproliferative neoplasm
  • polycythemia vera
  • rusfertide


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