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Defibrotide sodium is an oligonucleotide mixture with profibrinolytic properties. The chemical name of defibrotide sodium is polydeoxyribonucleotide, sodium salt. Defibrotide sodium is a polydisperse mixture of predominantly single-stranded (ss) polydeoxyribonucleotide sodium salts derived from porcine intestinal tissue having a mean weighted molecular weight of 13-20 kDa, and a potency of 27-39 and 28-38 biological units per mg as determined by two separate assays measuring the release of a product formed by contact between defibrotide sodium, plasmin and a plasmin substrate. The primary structure of defibrotide sodium is shown below.


DEFITELIO (defibrotide sodium) injection is a clear, light yellow to brown, sterile, preservative-free solution in a single-patient-use vial for intravenous use. Each milliliter of the injection contains 80 mg of defibrotide sodium and 10 mg of Sodium Citrate, USP, in Water for Injection, USP. Hydrochloric Acid, NF, and/or Sodium Hydroxide, NF, may have been used to adjust pH to 6.8-7.8.

Defibrotide is the sodium salt of a mixture of single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides derived from porcine mucosal DNA. It has been shown to have antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-ischemic properties (but without associated significant systemic anticoagulant effects). It is marketed under the brand names Dasovas (FM), Noravid, and Prociclide in a variety of countries, but is currently not approved in the USA. The manufacturer is Gentium.

Defibrotide is used to treat or prevent a failure of normal blood flow (occlusive venous disease, OVD) in the liver of patients who have had bone marrow transplants or received certain drugs such as oral estrogens, mercaptopurine, and many others.

In 2012, an IND was filed in Japan seeking approval of the compound for the treatment of veno-occlusive disease.

Approved 3/30/3016 US FDA, defibrotide sodium, (NDA) 208114


To treat adults and children who develop hepatic veno-occlusive disease with additional kidney or lung abnormalities after they receive a stem cell transplant from blood or bone marrow called hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Polydeoxyribonucleotides from bovine lung or other mamalian organs with molecular weight between 15,000 and 30,000 Da

CAS 83712-60-1

Defibrotide is a polydisperse mixture of oligonucleotides produced by random, chemical cleavage (depolymerisation) of porcine DNA. It is predominantly single stranded, of varying base sequence, lengths and conformations; unfolded, folded or combined. The mean oligonucleotide length is 50 bases with a mean molecular weight of 17 ± 4 kDa. No individually defined component is at more than femtomolar concentration. The only meaningful scientific information that can be obtained about the biochemical nature of defibrotide (aside from determination of percentage of each nucleobase) is a measurement of its average length and its average percentage double stranded character. Therefore, it can be established that this active substance is of highly heterogenic nature.



Defibrotide (Defitelio, Gentium)[1] is a deoxyribonucleic acid derivative (single-stranded) derived from cow lung or porcine mucosa. It is an anticoagulant with a multiple mode of action (see below).

It has been used with antithrombin III.[2]

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc announced that the FDA has accepted for filing with Priority Review its recently submitted New Drug Application (NDA) for defibrotide. AS ON OCT 2015

Defibrotide is an investigational agent proposed for the treatment of patients with hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), also known as sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (SOS), with evidence of multi-organ dysfunction (MOD) following hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT).

Priority Review status is designated for drugs that may offer major advances in treatment or provide a treatment where no adequate therapy exists. Based on timelines established by the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), FDA review of the NDA is expected to be completed by March 31, 2016.

“The FDA’s acceptance for filing and Priority Review status of the NDA for defibrotide is an important milestone for Jazz and reflects our commitment to bringing meaningful medicines to patients who have significant unmet needs,” said Karen Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the FDA to obtain approval for defibrotide for patients with hepatic VOD with evidence of MOD in the U.S. as quickly as possible, as there are no other approved therapies for treating this rare, often fatal complication of HSCT.”

The NDA includes safety and efficacy data from three clinical studies of defibrotide for the treatment of hepatic VOD with MOD following HSCT, as well as a retrospective review of registry data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. The safety database includes over 900 patients exposed to defibrotide in the clinical development program for the treatment of hepatic VOD.

The compound was originally developed under a collaboration between Sanofi and Gentium. In December 2001, Gentium entered into a license and supply agreement with Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, pursuant to which the latter gained exclusive rights to distribute, market and sell the product for the treatment of VOD in the U.S. This agreement was expanded in 2005 to include all of North America, Central America and South America.

Defibrotide was granted orphan drug designations from the FDA in July 1985, May 2003 and January 2007 for the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), for the treatment of VOD and for the prevention of VOD, respectively. Orphan drug was also received in the E.U. for the prevention and treatment of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) in 2004 and for the prevention of graft versus host disease (GvHD) in 2013.


Defibrotide is available as an oral, intravenous, and intramuscular formulation. Its oral bioavailability is in the range of 58-70% of theparenteral forms. T1/2 alpha is in the range of minutes while T1/2 beta is in the range of hours in studies with oral radiolabelleddefibrotide. These data suggest that defibrotide, in spite of its macromolecular nature, is absorbed well after oral administration. Due to the drug’s short half-life, it is necessary to give the daily dose divided in 2 to 4 doses (see below).

In 2014, Jazz Pharmaceuticals (parent of Gentium) acquired the rights of the product in U.S. and in the Americas

Mode of action

The drug appears to prevent the formation of blood clots and to help dissolve blood clots by increasing levels of prostaglandin I2, E2, and prostacyclin, altering platelet activity, increasing tissue plasminogen activator (tPA-)function, and decreasing activity of tissue plasminogen activator inhibitor. Prostaglandin I2 relaxes the smooth muscle of blood vessels and prevents platelets from adhering to each other. Prostaglandin E2 at certain concentrations also inhibits platelet aggregation. Moreover, the drug provides additional beneficial anti-inflammatory and antiischemic activities as recent studies have shown. It is yet unclear, if the latter effects can be utilized clinically (e.g., treatment of ischemic stroke).

Unlike heparin and warfarin, defibrotide appears to have a relatively mild anticoagulant activity, which may be beneficial in the treatment of patients at high risk of bleeding complications. Nevertheless, patients with known bleeding disorders (e.g., hemophilia A) or recent abnormal bleedings should be treated cautiously and under close medical supervision.

The drug was marketed under the brand names Dasovas (FM), Noravid, and Prociclide in a variety of countries. It is currently not approved in the USA. The manufacturer is Gentium.

Defibrotide also received fast track designation from the FDA for the treatment of severe VOD in recipients of stem cell transplants. In 2011, the compound was licensed to Medison Pharma by Gentium in Israel and Palestine. The license covers the management of named-patient sales program and local registration, authorization, marketing, reimbursement and medical affairs for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.

Usual indications

Defibrotide is used to treat or prevent a failure of normal blood flow (Veno-occlusive disease, VOD) in the liver of patients having had bone marrow transplants or received certain drugs such as oral estrogens, mercaptopurine, and many others. Without intensive treatment, VOD is often a fatal condition, leading to multiorgan failure. It has repeatedly been reported that defibrotide was able to resolve the condition completely and was well tolerated.

Other indications are: peripheral obliterative arterial disease, thrombophlebitis, and Raynaud’s phenomenon. In very high doses, defibrotide is useful as treatment of acute myocardial infarction. The drug may also be used for the pre- and postoperative prophylaxis of deep venous thrombosis and can replace the heparin use during hemodialytic treatments.

It has been investigated for use in treatment of chronic venous insufficiency.[3]

Potential indications in the future

Other recent preclinical studies have demonstrated that defibrotide used in conjunction with Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (rhG-CSF) significantly increases the number of Peripheral Blood Progenitor Cells (Stem cells). The benefit of this increase in stem cells may be crucial for a variety of clinical indications, including graft engineering procedures and gene therapy programs. This would expand the clinical usefulness of defibrotide to a complete distinct area.

Very recently (since early 2006) combination therapy trials (phase I/II) with defibrotide plus melphalan, prednisone, and thalidomide in patients with multiple myeloma have been conducted. The addition of defibrotide is expected to decrease the myelosuppressive toxicity of melphalan. However, is too early for any definitive results at that stage.

Cautions and contraindications

  • The efficacy of the drug has been reported to be poorer in patients with diabetes mellitus.
  • Pregnancy: The drug should not be used during pregnancy, because adequate and well controlled human studies do not exist.
  • Lactation: No human data is available. In order to avoid damage to the newborn, the nursing mother should discontinue either the drug or breastfeeding, taking into account the importance of treatment to the mother.
  • Known Bleeding Disorders or Bleeding Tendencies having occurred recently: Defibrotide should be used cautiously. Before initiation of treatment, the usual coagulation values should be obtained as baseline and regularly controlled under treatment. The patient should be observed regularly regarding local or systemic bleeding events.


Increased bleeding and bruising tendency, irritation at the injection site, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, low blood pressure. Serious allergic reactions have not been observed so far.

Drug interactions

Use of heparin with defibrotide may increase the aPTT, reflecting reduced ability of the body to form a clot. Nothing is known about the concomitant application of other anticoagulants than heparin and dextran containing plasma-expanders, but it can be anticipated that the risk of serious bleeding will be increased considerably.



WO 2001078761

G-CSF (CAS registry number 143011-2-7/Merck Index, 1996, page 4558) is a haematopoietic growth factor which is indispensable in the proliferation and differentiation of the progenitor cells of granulocytes; it is a 18-22 kDa glycoprotein normally produced in response to specific stimulation by a variety of cells, including monocytes, fibroblasts and endothelial cells. The term defibrotide (CAS registry number 83712-60-1) normally identifies a polydeoxyribonucleotide obtained by extraction (US 3,770,720 and US 3,899,481) from animal and/or vegetable tissue; this polydeoxyribonucleotide is normally used in the form of a salt of an alkali metal, generally sodium. Defibrotide is used principally for its anti- thrombotic activity (US 3,829,567) although it may be used in different applications, such as, for example, the treatment of acute renal insufficiency (US 4,694,134) and the treatment of acute myocardial ischaemia (US 4,693,995). United States patents US 4,985,552 and US 5,223,609, finally, describe a process for the production of defibrotide which enables a product to be obtained which has constant and well defined physico-chemical characteristics and is also free from any undesired side-effects




  1.  “Jazz Pharma Acquiring Gentium for $1B”. Gen. Eng. Biotechnol. News (paper) 34 (2). January 15, 2014. p. 10.
  2.  Haussmann U, Fischer J, Eber S, Scherer F, Seger R, Gungor T (June 2006). “Hepatic veno-occlusive disease in pediatric stem cell transplantation: impact of pre-emptive antithrombin III replacement and combined antithrombin III/defibrotide therapy”. Haematologica 91 (6): 795–800. PMID 16769582.
  3.  Coccheri S, Andreozzi GM, D’Addato M, Gensini GF (June 2004). “Effects of defibrotide in patients with chronic deep insufficiency. The PROVEDIS study”. Int Angiol 23 (2): 100–7.PMID 15507885.

External links

WO2003101468A1 * Jun 2, 2003 Dec 11, 2003 Guenther Eissner Method for the protection of endothelial and epithelial cells during chemotherapy
US4985552 Jul 5, 1989 Jan 15, 1991 Crinos Industria Farmacobiologica S.P.A. Process for obtaining chemically defined and reproducible polydeoxyribonucleotides
US5223609 May 26, 1992 Jun 29, 1993 Crinos Industria Farmacobiologica S.P.A. Process for obtaining chemically defined and reproducible polydeoxyribonucleotides
Cited Patent Filing date Publication date Applicant Title
WO1999026639A1 * 24 Nov 1998 3 Jun 1999 Allegheny University Of The He Methods for mobilizing hematopoietic facilitating cells and hematopoietic stem cells into the peripheral blood
EP0317766A1 * 20 Oct 1988 31 May 1989 Crinos Industria Farmacobiologica S.p.A. A method for preventing blood coaguli from being formed in the extra-body circuit of dialysis apparatus and composition useful thereof
EP0416678A1 * 10 Aug 1990 13 Mar 1991 Crinos Industria Farmacobiologica S.p.A. Topical compositions containing Defibrotide
US5199942 * 26 Sep 1991 6 Apr 1993 Immunex Corporation Method for improving autologous transplantation
US5977083 * 5 Jun 1995 2 Nov 1999 Burcoglu; Arsinur Method for using polynucleotides, oligonucleotides and derivatives thereof to treat various disease states
1 * CARLO-STELLA, C. (1) ET AL: “Defibrotide significantly enhances peripheral blood progenitor cell mobilization induced by recombinant human granulocyte colony – stimulating factor ( rhG – CSF.” BLOOD, ( NOVEMBER 16, 2000 ) VOL. 96, NO. 11 PART 1, PP. 553A. PRINT. MEETING INFO.: 42ND ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA DECEMBER 01-05, 2000 AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HEMATOLOGY. , XP002176349
Citing Patent Filing date Publication date Applicant Title
WO2005017160A2 * 12 Aug 2004 24 Feb 2005 Childrens Hosp Medical Center Mobilization of hematopoietic cells
WO2009115465A1 * 13 Mar 2009 24 Sep 2009 Gentium Spa Synthetic phosphodiester oligonucleotides and therapeutical uses thereof
EP2103689A1 * 19 Mar 2008 23 Sep 2009 Gentium S.p.A. Synthetic phosphodiester oligonucleotides and therapeutical uses thereof
US7417026 12 Aug 2004 26 Aug 2008 Children’s Hospital Medical Center Mobilization of hematopoietic cells
US7915384 5 Jan 2009 29 Mar 2011 Children’s Hospital Medical Center Chimeric peptides for the regulation of GTPases
US8242246 28 Feb 2011 14 Aug 2012 Children’s Hospital Medical Center Chimeric peptides for the regulation of GTPases
US8674075 13 Aug 2012 18 Mar 2014 Children’s Medical Center Corporation Chimeric peptides for the regulation of GTPases
US8980862 12 Nov 2010 17 Mar 2015 Gentium S.P.A. Defibrotide for use in prophylaxis and/or treatment of Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD)
Clinical data
AHFS/ International Drug Names
  • X
Legal status
  • Rx only (where available)
Routes of
oral, i.m., i.v.
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 58 – 70% orally (i.v. and i.m. = 100%)
Biological half-life t1/2-alpha = minutes; t1/2-beta = a few hours
CAS Registry Number 83712-60-1 Yes
ATC code B01AX01
DrugBank DB04932 Yes
KEGG D07423 Yes

///////////Approved,  3/30/3016,  US FDA, defibrotide sodium, NDA 208114, FDA 2016


FDA approves first treatment for rare disease in patients who receive stem cell transplant from blood or bone marrow

For Immediate Release

March 30, 2016


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Defitelio (defibrotide sodium) to treat adults and children who develop hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) with additional kidney or lung abnormalities after they receive a stem cell transplant from blood or bone marrow called hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). This is the first FDA-approved therapy for treatment of severe hepatic VOD, a rare and life-threatening liver condition.

HSCT is a procedure performed in some patients to treat certain blood or bone marrow cancers. Immediately before an HSCT procedure, a patient receives chemotherapy. Hepatic VOD can occur in patients who receive chemotherapy and HSCT. Hepatic VOD is a condition in which some of the veins in the liver become blocked, causing swelling and a decrease in blood flow inside the liver, which may lead to liver damage. In the most severe form of hepatic VOD, the patient may also develop failure of the kidneys and lungs. Fewer than 2 percent of patients develop severe hepatic VOD after HSCT, but as many as 80 percent of patients who develop severe hepatic VOD do not survive.

“The approval of Defitelio fills a significant need in the transplantation community to treat this rare but frequently fatal complication in patients who receive chemotherapy and HSCT,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The efficacy of Defitelio was investigated in 528 patients treated in three studies: two prospective clinical trials and an expanded access study. The patients enrolled in all three studies had a diagnosis of hepatic VOD with liver or kidney abnormalities after HSCT. The studies measured the percentage of patients who were still alive 100 days after HSCT (overall survival). In the three studies, 38 to 45 percent of patients treated with Defitelio were alive 100 days after HSCT. Based on published reports and analyses of patient-level data, the expected survival rates 100 days after HSCT would be 21 to 31 percent for patients with severe hepatic VOD who received only supportive care or interventions other than Defitelio.

The most common side effects of Defitelio include abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension), diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and nosebleeds (epistaxis). Serious potential side effects of Defitelio that were identified include bleeding (hemorrhage) and allergic reactions. Defitelio should not be used in patients who are having bleeding complications or who are taking blood thinners or other medicines that reduce the body’s ability to form clots.

The FDA granted the Defitelio application priority review status, which facilitates and expedites the development and review of certain drugs in light of their potential to benefit patients with serious or life-threatening conditions. Defitelio also received orphan drug designation, which provides incentives such as tax credits, user fee waivers and eligibility for exclusivity to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.

Defitelio is marketed by Jazz Pharmaceuticals based in Palo Alto, California

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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with GLENMARK LIFE SCIENCES LTD, Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 30 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, Dr T.V. Radhakrishnan and Dr B. K. Kulkarni, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 30 PLUS year tenure till date June 2021, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 9 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 90 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, 233 countries, 7 continents, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 33 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 233 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc

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