- factor VIII
- von willebrand factor
POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Alphanate® 2000 IU, powder for injection.
Alphanate® is a high purity solvent detergent and heat treated preparation of human coagulation factor VIII, freeze-dried, Ph. Eur. Alphanate® also contains human von Willebrand factor at pharmacologically effective levels.
Alphanate® is presented as a powder and solvent for solution for injection containing nominally 250 IU, 500 IU, 1000 IU, 1500 IU or 2000 IU human coagulation factor VIII and 300, 600, 1200, 1800 IU or 2400 IU of human von Willebrand factor per vial.
Alphanate® 250 IU contains approximately 50 IU/ml human coagulation factor VIII and 60 IU/ml human von Willebrand factor when reconstituted with 5 ml sterile Water for Injections, Ph. Eur.
Alphanate® 500 IU contains approximately 100 IU/ml human coagulation factor VIII and 120 IU/ml human von Willebrand factor activity when reconstituted with 5 ml sterile Water for Injections, Ph. Eur.
Alphanate® 1000 IU contains approximately 100 IU/ml human coagulation factor VIII and 120 IU/ml human von Willebrand factor activity when reconstituted with 10 ml sterile Water for Injections, Ph. Eur.
Alphanate® 1500 IU contains approximately 150 IU/ml human coagulation factor VIII and 180 IU/ml human von Willebrand factor activity when reconstituted with 10 ml sterile Water for Injections, Ph. Eur.
Alphanate® 2000 IU contains approximately 200 IU/ml human coagulation factor VIII and 240 IU/ml human von Willebrand factor activity when reconstituted with 10 ml sterile Water for Injections, Ph. Eur.
The factor VIII potency (IU) is determined using the European Pharmacopoeia chromogenic assay and a reference standard calibrated against the WHO International Standard (FVIII:C IU).
The von Willebrand factor potency is determined by measuring the ristocetin cofactor activity using a reference standard calibrated against the WHO International Standard (VWF:RCo IU).
The specific activity of Alphanate® prior to the addition of albumin, is greater than 100 IU factor VIII/mg protein and, as finished product, is greater than 5 IU factor VIII/mg protein.
For a full list of excipients see section 6.1.
Powder for injection.
Solvent (Water for Injections).
Vial containing white or pale yellow powder and syringe with Water for Injections (solvent).
Treatment and prophylaxis of bleeding in patients with haemophilia A (congenital factor VIII deficiency). This product may be used in the management of acquired factor VIII deficiency.
Prevention and treatment of haemorrhage or surgical bleeding in patients with von Willebrand disease (VWD), when desmopressin (DDAVP) treatment alone is ineffective or contra-indicated.
Treatment should be initiated under the supervision of a physician experienced in the treatment of haemostatic disorders.
Factor VIII deficiency
The dosage and duration of the substitution therapy depend on the severity of the factor VIII deficiency, on the location and extent of the bleeding and on the patient's clinical condition.
The number of units of factor VIII administered is expressed in International Units (IU), which are related to the current WHO standard for factor VIII products. Factor VIII activity in plasma is expressed either as a percentage (relative to normal human plasma) or in International Units (relative to an International Standard for factor VIII in plasma).
One International Unit (IU) of factor VIII activity is equivalent to that quantity of factor VIII in one ml of normal human plasma. The calculation of the required dosage of factor VIII is based on the empirical finding that 1 International Unit (IU) factor VIII per kg body weight raises the plasma factor VIII activity by 1.5% to 2% of normal activity. The required dosage is determined using the following formula:
Required Units = Body weight (kg) x desired factor VIII rise (%) (IU/dl) x 0.5
The amount to be administered and the frequency of administration should always be oriented to the clinical effectiveness in the individual case.
In the case of the following haemorrhagic events, the factor VIII activity should not fall below the given plasma activity level (in % of normal or IU/dl) in the corresponding period.
The following table can be used to guide dosing in bleeding episodes and surgery:
Degree of haemorrhage/ Type of surgical procedure
Factor VIII level required as % of normal (IU/dL)
Frequency of doses (hours)/ Duration of therapy (days)
Early haemarthrosis, muscle bleeding or oral bleeding
More extensive haemarthrosis, muscle bleeding or haematoma
Life threatening haemorrhages
20 - 40
30 - 60
60 - 100
Repeat every 12 to 24 hours. At least 1 day, until the bleeding episode, as indicated by pain, is resolved or healing is achieved.
Repeat infusion every 12 – 24 hours for 3 – 4 days or more until pain and disability are resolved.
Repeat infusion every 8 – 24 hours until threat is resolved.
Minor, including tooth extraction
30 - 60
80 - 100
(pre- and post-operative)
Every 24 hours, at least 1 day, until healing is achieved.
Repeat infusion every 8 - 24 hours until adequate wound healing, then therapy for at least another 7 days to maintain a FVIII activity of 30% to 60% (IU/dL).
During the course of treatment, appropriate determination of factor VIII levels is advised to guide the dose to be administered and the frequency of repeated infusions. In the case of major surgical interventions in particular, precise monitoring of the substitution therapy by means of coagulation analysis (plasma factor VIII activity) is indispensable. Individual patients may vary in their response to factor VIII, achieving different levels of in vivo recovery and demonstrating different half-lives.
For long term prophylaxis against bleeding in patients with severe haemophilia A, the usual doses are 20 to 40 IU of factor VIII per kg of body weight at intervals of 2 to 3 days. In some cases, especially in younger patients, shorter dosage intervals or higher doses may be necessary.
Von Willebrand disease
Generally, 1 IU/kg VWF:RCo raises the circulating level of VWF:RCo by 2%. Levels of VWF:RCo of > 0.6 IU/ml (60%) and of FVIII:C of > 0.4 IU/ml (40%) should be achieved.
Usually 40 - 80 IU/kg of von Willebrand factor (VWF:RCo) and 20 - 40 IU/kg of FVIII:C are recommended to achieve haemostasis.
An initial dose of 80 IU/kg of von Willebrand factor may be required, especially in patients with type 3 von Willebrand disease where maintenance of adequate levels may require greater doses than in other types of von Willebrand disease.
An appropriate dose should be re-administered every 12 - 24 hours. The dose and duration of the treatment depend on the clinical status of the patient, the type and severity of bleeding, and both VWF:RCo and FVIII:C levels.
When using a FVIII-containing von Willebrand factor product, the treating physician should be aware that continued treatment may cause an excessive rise in FVIII:C. After 24 - 48 hours of treatment, reduced doses and/or prolongation of the dose interval or the use of a VWF product containing a low level of FVIII should be considered.
There are insufficient data to recommend the use of Alphanate® in children less than 6 years of age for the authorised indications.
Method of administration
Dissolve the preparation as described in section 6.6. The product should be administered via the intravenous route. The injection speed should not exceed 10 ml per minute.
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.
As with any intravenous protein product, allergic-type hypersensitivity reactions are possible. The product contains traces of human proteins other than factor VIII. Patients should be informed of the early signs of hypersensitivity reactions including hives, generalised urticaria, tightness of the chest, wheezing, hypotension, and anaphylaxis. If these symptoms occur, they should be advised to discontinue use of the product immediately and contact their physician.
In case of shock, the current medical standards for shock treatment should be observed.
Standard measures to prevent infections resulting from the use of medicinal products prepared from human blood or plasma include selection of donors, screening of individual donations and plasma pools for specific markers of infection and the inclusion of effective manufacturing steps for the inactivation/removal of viruses. Despite this, when medicinal products prepared from human blood or plasma are administered, the possibility of transmitting infective agents cannot be totally excluded. This also applies to unknown or emerging viruses and other pathogens.
The measures taken are considered effective for enveloped viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). The measures taken may be of limited value against non-enveloped viruses such as hepatitis A and parvovirus B19. Parvovirus B19 infection may be serious for pregnant women (fetal infection) and for individuals with immunodeficiency or increased erythropoiesis (e.g. haemolytic anaemia).
Appropriate vaccination (hepatitis A and B) should be considered for patients in regular/repeated receipt of human plasma-derived factor VIII products.
The formation of neutralising antibodies (inhibitors) to factor VIII is a known complication in the management of individuals with haemophilia A. These inhibitors are usually IgG immunoglobulins directed against the factor VIII procoagulant activity, which are quantified in Bethesda Units (BU) per ml of plasma using the modified assay. The risk of developing inhibitors is correlated to the severity of the disease as well as the exposure to factor VIII, this risk being highest within the first 20 exposure days. Rarely, inhibitors may develop after the first 100 exposure days.
Cases of recurrent inhibitor (low titre) have been observed after switching from one factor VIII product to another in previously treated patients with more than 100 exposure days who have a previous history of inhibitor development. Therefore, it is recommended to monitor all patients carefully for inhibitor occurrence following any product switch.
The clinical relevance of inhibitor development will depend on the titre of the inhibitor, with low titre inhibitors which are transiently present or remain consistently low titre posing less of a risk of insufficient clinical response than high titre inhibitors.
In general, all patients treated with coagulation factor VIII products should be carefully monitored for the development of inhibitors by appropriate clinical observations and laboratory tests. If the expected factor VIII activity plasma levels are not attained, or if bleeding is not controlled with an appropriate dose, testing for factor VIII inhibitor presence should be performed. In patients with high levels of inhibitor, factor VIII therapy may not be effective and other therapeutic options should be considered. Management of such patients should be directed by physicians with experience in the care of haemophilia and factor VIII inhibitors.
Reports in the literature suggest that patients with Type 3 (severe) von Willebrand Disease may occasionally develop alloantibodies to von Willebrand factor.
It is strongly recommended that every time that Alphanate® is administered to a patient, the name and batch number of the product are recorded in order to maintain a link between the patient and the batch of the product.
The residual content of sodium in Alphanate®, arising from the manufacturing process, does not exceed 23 mg (1 mmol) per vial in the 250, 500, 1000 and 1500 IU presentations, and 34.5 mg per vial in the 2000 IU presentation. This is equivalent to 1.15% and 1.72% respectively of the recommended maximum daily intake of sodium for an adult. However, depending on the body weight of the patient and the posology, the patient may receive more than one vial.
No interactions of human coagulation factor VIII or von Willebrand factor products with other medicinal products are known.
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Alphanate®.
Based on the rare occurrence of haemophilia A in women, experience regarding the use of human coagulation factor VIII during pregnancy and breast-feeding is not available.
There is no data from a clinical study regarding the use of von Willebrand factor in pregnant or lactating women.
Therefore, Alphanate® should be used during pregnancy and lactation only if clearly indicated.
Alphanate® has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines.
Hypersensitivity or allergic reactions (which may include angioedema, burning and stinging at the infusion site, chills, flushing, generalised urticaria, headache, hives, hypotension, lethargy, nausea, restlessness, tachycardia, tightness of the chest, tingling, vomiting, wheezing) have been observed infrequently, and may in some cases progress to severe anaphylaxis (including shock).
On rare occasions, fever has been observed.
Development of neutralising antibodies (inhibitors) may occur in patients with haemophilia A treated with factor VIII, including with Alphanate (see section 5.1). If such inhibitors occur, the condition will manifest itself as an insufficient clinical response. In such cases, it is recommended that a specialised haemophilia centre be contacted.
Patients with von Willebrand disease, especially type 3 patients, may very rarely develop neutralising antibodies (inhibitors) to von Willebrand factor. If such inhibitors occur, the condition will manifest itself as an inadequate clinical response. Such antibodies may occur in close association with anaphylactic reactions. Therefore, patients experiencing anaphylactic reaction should be evaluated for the presence of an inhibitor. In such cases, it is recommended that a specialised haemophilia centre be contacted.
When using this product for patients with von Willebrand disease, there is a risk of occurrence of thrombotic events, particularly in patients with known clinical or laboratory risk factors.
In patients receiving factor VIII-containing von Willebrand factor products sustained excessive FVIII:C levels may increase the risk of thrombotic events.
For safety information with respect to transmissible agents, see section 4.4.
Tabulated list of adverse reactions
The table presented below is according to the MedDRA system organ classification (SOC and Preferred Term Level).
Frequencies have been evaluated according to the following convention: very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).
Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.
MedDRA Standard System Organ Class
Blood and lymphatic system disorders
Very common (PUPs)*
* Frequency is based on studies with all FVIII products which included patients with severe haemophilia A. PTPs = previously-treated patients, PUPs = previously-untreated patients
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via Yellow Card Scheme, Website: https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk.
No symptoms of overdose with human coagulation factor VIII and/or von Willebrand factor have been reported. Thromboembolic events may occur in case of major overdose.
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Anti-haemorrhagics: blood coagulation factors, ATC code: B02BD06.
In Alphanate®, factor VIII is presented as a complex with von Willebrand factor.
The factor VIII / von Willebrand factor complex consists of two molecules (factor VIII and von Willebrand factor) with different physiological functions.
Factor VIII deficiency
When infused into a haemophiliac patient, factor VIII binds to von Willebrand factor in the patient's circulation. Activated factor VIII acts as a cofactor for activated factor IX, accelerating the conversion of factor X to activated factor X. Activated factor X converts prothrombin into thrombin. Thrombin then converts fibrinogen into fibrin and a clot can be formed. Haemophilia A is a sex-linked hereditary disorder of blood coagulation due to decreased levels of factor VIII and results in profuse bleeding into joints, muscles or internal organs, either spontaneously or as a result of accidental or surgical trauma. By replacement therapy the plasma levels of factor VIII are increased, thereby enabling a temporary correction of the factor deficiency and correction of the bleeding tendencies.
Von Willebrand disease
Alphanate® behaves in the same way as endogenous von Willebrand factor.
Administration of von Willebrand factor allows correction of the haemostatic abnormalities exhibited by patients who suffer from von Willebrand factor deficiency (von Willebrand's disease) at two levels:
- Von Willebrand factor re-establishes platelet adhesion to the vascular sub-endothelium at the site of vascular damage (as it binds both to the vascular sub-endothelium and to the platelet membrane), providing primary haemostasis as shown by the shortening of the bleeding time. This effect occurs immediately and is known to depend to a large extent on the level of polymerisation of the protein;
- Von Willebrand factor produces delayed correction of the associated factor VIII deficiency. Administered intravenously, von Willebrand factor binds to endogenous factor VIII (which is produced normally by the patient), and by stabilising this factor, avoids its rapid degradation.
Administration of a FVIII:C containing VWF preparation restores the FVIII:C level to normal immediately after the first infusion.
Immune Tolerance Induction (ITI)
Data on Immune Tolerance Induction (ITI) have been collected in paediatric and adult patients with haemophilia A who have developed inhibitors to FVIII. The 33 patients from the Alphanate® retrospective study included a broad spectrum of primary and rescue ITI patients with varying prognoses for achieving immune tolerance. Data show that Alphanate® has been used to induce immune tolerance. In patients where tolerance was achieved, bleeding could be prevented or controlled on either prophylactic or on-demand therapy with a FVIII concentrate.
There are insufficient data from clinical trials in children less than 6 years of age for the authorised indications.
In open, randomised, crossover study, the pharmacokinetics of Alphanate® were compared with the non heat-treated version of the same product. Haemophilia A patients (< 3 IU factor VIII/dL) were dosed to achieve peak plasma factor VIII levels of about 100 units/dL. Blood samples were withdrawn up to 28 hours post-infusion. The median half-life for Alphanate® was 12.2 hours and the mean in vivo recovery was 86.5%. In these studies the mean AUC was 895 IU h/dL, the mean residence time was 9.9 hours and the clearance was 4.4 mL/h/kg.
Depending of the degree of bleeding, injury or tissue damage the biological half-life may decrease. This has to be taken into account when determining the dosage.
Von Willebrand Disease
A pharmacokinetic study of Alphanate® was conducted in 18 non-bleeding subjects with von Willebrand Disease (3 Type 1, 3 Type 2A, and 12 Type 3). Subjects received a single intravenous dose of Alphanate® at 60 VWF:RCo IU/kg (75 VWF:RCo IU/kg in subjects younger than 18 years of age). Blood samples were withdrawn up to 48 hours post-infusion. The mean plasma levels of VWF:RCo rose from 12.3 ± 4.8% at baseline to 206.0 ± 98.7% 15 minutes post-infusion, mean plasma levels of FVIII:C rose from 23.2 ± 31.2% to 215.4 ± 86.3%, and mean plasma levels of VWF:Ag rose from 13.0 ± 20.0% to 325.1 ± 133.9%. The mean skin bleeding time prior to infusion was 29.1 ± 3.9 minutes, which shortened to 10.4 ± 3.1 minutes 1 hour post-infusion. Similar results were observed in the subset of 12 subjects with Type 3 VWD.
The mean half-lives for VWF:RCo, FVIII:C, and VWF:Ag were 7.5 ± 3.2 hours, 21.5 ± 7.2 hours, and 13.0 ± 2.1 hours, respectively, and the mean incremental in vivo recoveries of VWF:RCo and FVIII:C were 3.1 ± 1.5% / VWF:RCo IU/kg and 2.2 ± 0.6% / VWF:RCo IU/kg, respectively.
For VWF:RCo, FVIII:C and VWF:Ag, mean AUC was 1737, 5022 and 4891%*hr respectively; mean residence time was 10.7, 31.6 and 18.7 hours, respectively; and clearance was 0.05, 0.01 and 0.01 (IU/kg) / (%*hr) respectively.
Following infusion of Alphanate® there was a predictable increase in the size of von Willebrand factor multimers, which persisted for at least 24 hours. The shortening of the bleeding time was transient, generally lasting less than 6 hours following treatment.
Human plasma coagulation factor VIII and von Willebrand factor (active ingredients for Alphanate®) are normal constituents of human plasma and act like the corresponding endogenous proteins.
Single dose toxicity testing is of no relevance since higher doses result in overloading.
Repeated dose toxicity testing in animals is impracticable due to interference with developing antibodies to heterologous protein.
Water for Injections Ph. Eur. (Solvent)
Alphanate® should not be mixed with other medicinal products.
Only the provided infusion set should be used because treatment failure can occur as a consequence of FVIII/VWF complex adsorption to the internal surfaces of some infusion equipment.
Lyophilised Alphanate® has a shelf life of 3 years.
Alphanate® should be used immediately after reconstitution.
Do not store above 30 °C. Protect from light. Do not freeze.
For storage conditions after reconstitution of the medicinal product, see section 6.3.
Alphanate® is a white to slightly yellow freeze dried powder containing nominally 250, 500, 1000, 1500 or 2000 IU of factor VIII and 300, 600, 1200, 1800 or 2400 IU of human von Willebrand factor per vial. The glass containers are made of Type I glass and closed with grey butyl rubber stoppers, aluminium crimp seal (bearing the lot number) and plastic “flip-off” dust cover.
Each vial of Alphanate® is supplied with a Type I glass syringe containing 5 ml (for the presentations of 250 and 500 IU factor VIII) or 10 ml (for the presentations of 1000, 1500 and 2000 IU factor VIII) of Water for Injections Ph. Eur. (PL 4447/0016).
The accessories supplied with Alphanate® for reconstitution and administration of the product are: vial adaptor, filter, butterfly needle and two alcohol swabs.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Do not use after the expiry date shown on the vial label.
Use aseptic technique during reconstitution and administration.
Left-over product must never be stored for later use, nor stored in a refrigerator.
To prepare the solution:
1. Warm the vial and syringe but not above 30 °C
2. Attach plunger to syringe containing solvent.
3. Remove filter from packaging. Remove cap from syringe tip and attach syringe to filter.
4. Remove vial adaptor from packaging and attach to syringe and filter.
5. Remove cap from vial and wipe stopper with swabs provided.
6. Pierce vial stopper with adaptor needle.
7. Transfer all solvent from syringe to vial.
8. Gently shake vial until all product is dissolved. As with other parenteral solutions, do not use if product is not properly dissolved or particles are visible.
9. Briefly separate the syringe/filter from vial/adaptor to release the vacuum.
10. Turn the vial upside down and draw the solution into the syringe.
11. Prepare injection site, separate syringe and inject product using the butterfly needle provided. Injection rate should be 3 ml/min into a vein and never more than 10 ml/min to avoid vasomotor reactions.
After reconstitution with the Water for Injections solvent provided, the product should be used immediately.
Do not re-use the administration sets.
It is important to use the infusion set provided with the medicine. If medical infusion systems are used, please check the compatibility of the system with the prefilled syringe. Adapters should be used when required to ensure proper administration of the product.
Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
The solution should be clear or slightly opalescent. Do not use solutions that are cloudy or have deposits. Reconstituted product should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration.
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