Beta Thalassemia Disease

Published Date : Jan 2024
Category : Genetic Diseases
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Unlocking Clinical Avenues: Radical Research on Beta Thalassemia Provides Promising Insights and Innovative Treatment Strategies"

In the complex field of genetic disorders, beta thalassemia presents a tragic tale that weaves its influence through the complexity of hemoglobin manufacturing. Since it is a hereditary hematological disorder, its presentations vary from mild to severe, which emphasizes the necessity for further research to fully understand its intricacies.

The NIH states that while the number of beta-thalassemia mutations varies globally, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Southeast and Central Asia have the highest prevalence. There are about 68,000 newborns with beta-thalassemia. About 1.5% of the world's population, or 80–90 million carriers, are affected by it. In Cyprus, the carrier prevalence in Turkish and Greek populations has been observed to reach 15%. The number of carriers in these communities is high due to selection pressure, and the prevalence is like that of malaria, which is thought to provide a survival advantage. Thalassemia is more common in the previously stated regions for additional reasons, including founder effects and gene drift.

Thalassemia is a hereditary blood disease in which the body produces either an abnormally shaped or insufficient amount of hemoglobin. It is inherited and runs in families.

A hereditary mutation of the beta-globin gene that results in a decreased beta-globin chain of hemoglobin is known as beta-thalassemia (beta thal). The iron-containing protein in red blood cells called hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen to all the body's cells.

Low hemoglobin levels in beta-thalassemia patients cause the body's oxygen levels to drop. In addition, those who are affected have anemia, and a lack of red blood cells, which leads to more serious side effects such as weakness, exhaustion, and pale complexion. Individuals who have beta thalassemia are more likely to get anomalous blood clots.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, three forms of beta thalassemia are identified:

Beta Thalassemia Major:  The most severe form of beta thalassemia is commonly referred to as Cooley's anemia. It involves two beta-globin genes that are either faulty or damaged. Because those who have beta thalassemia major need blood transfusions for the rest of their lives, the condition is now referred to as "transfusion-dependent thalassemia".

Beta Thalassemia Intermedia: The symptoms of mild to moderate anemia are caused by beta thalassemia intermedia. It also involves two beta-globin genes that are either faulty or absent. Beta thalassemia intermedia probably won't require blood transfusions for the rest of your life.

Beta Thalassemia Minor: This is also known as beta thalassemia trait, frequently manifests as moderate anemia. One faulty or damaged beta-globin gene is involved. Some individuals with mild beta-thalassemia show no symptoms at all.

Sign & Symptoms

Individual differences are observed in the symptoms and severity of beta-thalassemia. While they have moderate anemia, people with beta thalassemia minor do not exhibit symptoms of the illness.

Majoring in Beta Thalassemia When severe anemia sets in, symptoms including weakness, exhaustion, headaches, nausea, and yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and whites of the eyes (jaundice) occur. Babies affected frequently do not grow and gain weight by age and gender expectations (failure to thrive). Some babies develop pallor or increasing paleness.  Extramedullary hematopoiesis, or the formation of masses because of blood cell synthesis beyond the bone marrow, produces additional symptoms. Furthermore, Hb Lepore is a hemoglobin variant resulting from a hybrid gene of delta and beta globin. Individuals with Hb Lepore exhibit symptoms similar to those with beta-thalassemia.

Patients with intermedia beta thalassemia have a broad range of symptoms. Affected patients need regular blood transfusions due to moderately severe anemia, which is prevalent. Every single case is distinct. Atypical enlargement of the liver and spleen, leg ulcers, pallor, jaundice, and gallstones (cholelithiasis) are among the common symptoms. Additionally, there are moderate to severe bone abnormalities, like those seen in beta-thalassemia major.

Diagnostic Analysis

The identification of distinctive symptoms, a clinical assessment, and a range of specialized testing are the key components for a beta thalassemia diagnosis. Children are frequently diagnosed with beta thalassemia. By the age of two, a kid is diagnosed with beta thalassemia major, the most severe kind, early in life.

Blood Test

  • Complete Blood Count Test (CBC)- The complete number, concentration, size, shape, and maturity of blood cells are among the various elements and characteristics that a complete blood count (CBC) measure. Hemoglobin electrophoresis is a specific blood test used to measure the various forms of hemoglobin present in blood. A complete blood count (CBC) is performed to quantify the amount of hemoglobin as well as the quantity, size, and shape of red blood cells, which are smaller and fewer in number than those seen in healthy persons.
  • Reticulocyte Count- Reticulocytes are red blood cells that are immature. Insufficient production of red blood cells by the body is indicated by a low reticulocyte count. Typically, severe thalassemia is associated with an increased reticulocyte count. This is a result of the body attempting to produce additional red blood cells to compensate for the red blood cells with aberrant hemoglobin being destroyed.
  • Molecular Genetic Testing- Molecular genetics test validate a diagnosis of beta thalassemia. Only specialized laboratories offer molecular genetic testing as a diagnostic service, but it detects mutations in the HBB gene that are known to cause the condition. While molecular genetic testing is often used to identify relatives who are at-risk but do not exhibit symptoms, it is not required to diagnose beta thalassemia. It is also used to assist with prenatal diagnosis and, in certain situations, to anticipate the disease's severity or course.
  • Hemoglobin Electrophoresis- The various forms of hemoglobin proteins in the blood are measured using a hemoglobin electrophoresis test. Beta thalassemia results in an increase in some hemoglobin protein types and a decrease in others.

Diagnostic Market Players

Diagnostic Product

Quest Diagnostics


Aster Clinical Lab LLP.


Daan Gene Co., Ltd.

Ebra H360 CBC Machine


BC-30 Vet™



Bio-Rad Laboratories


Sysmex Corporation


Guardant Health


Exact Sciences Corporation


Genomic Health


Biocept, Inc.


Guardant Health, Inc.


Biodesix, Inc


Hologic, Inc.


Abbott Laboratories


Biocept, Inc.




Mindray Animal Medical Technology Co., LTD.



Treatment Analysis

The type and extent of thalassemia determine the course of treatment. It covers procedures including splenectomy, medication, blood and bone marrow transplants, and blood transfusions.

  • Blood Transfusion: The primary treatment for mild to severe thalassemia is blood transfusions. Red blood cells with healthy hemoglobin are given by this procedure. An intravenous (IV) line is inserted with a needle into a patient's blood vessel during a blood transfusion. Via this line, patients obtain healthy blood. Usually, the process takes one to four hours. Those with beta-thalassemia intermedia or hemoglobin H illness is occasionally require blood transfusions. Particularly, when a patient's body is under stress during an infection, during pregnancy, or after surgery, for example, a transfusion is required.
  • Iron chelation therapy: Red blood cells' hemoglobin is a protein that is high in iron. Frequent blood transfusions result in iron excess, or iron accumulation, which has potentially fatal consequences. For patients who get blood transfusions regularly, doctors employ iron chelation therapy to eliminate extra iron from the body to prevent this. For iron chelation therapy, three medications are used: Deferasirox is taken once a day. Diarrhea, nausea, and skin rash are among the side effects, Deferiprone is prescribed after all other therapies fail. It reduces white blood cell counts, increasing the possibility of infections and Deferoxamine is a liquid medication that is injected subcutaneously gradually. It is often administered overnight via a tiny, portable pump. This therapy is somewhat painful and requires time.
  • Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant: A bone marrow and blood transplant, also known as a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, uses healthy donor cells to replace malfunctioning blood-forming stem cells. The only treatment for thalassemia is a stem cell transplant. But few individuals with severe thalassemia are able to identify a suitable donor match and are a good candidate for the process.
  • Medications: Medications provided by a medical professional to treat thalassemia, such as Hydroxyurea and Luspatercept (Reblozyl). Luspatercept reduces the frequency of blood transfusions required for thalassemia patients with moderate to severe anemia. Hydroxyurea is primarily used to treat sickle cell disease and reduce the risk of thalassemia-related health issues.
  • Splenectomy: A splenectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat certain patients. A spleen that is unusually enlarged pains and makes anemic. Low levels of the blood cells (platelets) necessary for blood clotting are caused by splenomegaly. Those who have beta thalassemia have an enlarged spleen because of iron excess, frequent blood transfusions, the production of blood cells outside of the bone marrow or enhanced red blood cell death. Splenectomy is a possibility if other treatments don't work. However, there are hazards associated with this surgical technique, and the benefits are evaluated case-by-case. Splenectomy is rarely required as a treatment for those with beta thalassemia due to advancements in the field over the past several years.

                                                                       Treatment Market Players



Baxter International Inc.

Bristol Myers Squibb's

Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA:

Editas Medicine

Terumo Corporation

Global Blood Therapeutics

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.

CRISPR Therapeutics

Immucor, Inc.

BlueBird Bio


Agios Pharmaceuticals

ApoPharma Inc.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A

Vifor Pharma

Cipla Limited

Orchard Therapeutics

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd


Apotex Inc.


Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA


Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.


Regen Biopharma Inc.


China Cord Blood Corporation


Cord Blood America, Inc.


STEMCELL Technologies Inc.


Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.


Novartis AG




                                                                    Treatment Product



Vista® Basic Pump Sets


SIGMA Spectrum® Infusion System


Terufusion™ Infusion Pump


Orchestra® Module MVP MS


Cell Saver® Elite®


ACD-A Blood Bag System



Regulatory Framework

Growing businesses are likely to benefit from the revised regulatory requirements provided by DiseaseLandscape Insights (DLI). These upgrades ensure companies keep up to speed with the constantly changing industry standards, steer clear of any potential legal errors, and improve their marketing and development processes.

  • On August 2021, TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved Reblozyl sponsored by Celgene Pty Limited. Reblozyl is indicated for the treatment of adults with transfusion dependent anemia associated with beta thalassemia. TGA also indicated that reblozyl should not be used as a substitute for RBC transfusion in patients who require immediate correction of anemia.   
  • The first cell-based gene therapy, Zynteglo (betibeglogene autotemcel), was licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration in August 2022 to treat beta-thalassemia in adults and children who need regular red blood cell transfusions.

Competitive Analysis

Beta-thalassemia market dynamics are mostly driven by the rising prevalence of thalassemia. The number of patients requiring medical interventions such as blood transfusions, chelation therapy, and possibly curative treatments like gene therapy and stem cell transplantation is increasing due to the rising prevalence of thalassemia. The need for supportive care, medications, and diagnostic testing is driven by the growing patient pool in the worldwide beta-thalassemia market. This creates chances for novel treatment alternatives to be researched, developed, and commercialized.

Treatments are now customized for specific individuals based on their genetic profiles thanks to developments in precision medicine and genomics. This results in more focused and efficient beta thalassemia treatments.

Moreover, innovations including gene therapy and stem cell transplantation exhibit encouraging possibilities as therapies for beta-thalassemia. These developments not only enhance patient care but also open doors for the worldwide beta-thalassemia treatment & diagnostic market's research, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines and medical equipment.

Recent Development

American pharmaceutical company Bluebird Bio announced in September 2021 that it had officially requested approval from the appropriate US authorities to use its beta-cell gene therapy as a treatment for beta-thalassemia.

Clinical Trial Assessment

DiseaseLandscape Insights (DLI) consultancy firm provides valuable support in future market trends on the development of new pharmaceutical products. This support helps to streamline the planning and execution of clinical trials of novel medications and treatments, implement effective patient recruitment strategies, ensure regulatory compliance, and increase the likelihood of successful trial outcomes.

The below table gives information about some currently ongoing clinical trials, including their study titles and respective stages:

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Safety and Efficacy Evaluation of BRL-101 in Subjects with Transfusion-Dependent β-Thalassemia

A Trial Testing SP-420 in Subjects with Transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia

Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy of CTX001 in Pediatric Participants with Transfusion-Dependent β-Thalassemia (TDT)

The Safety and Efficiency of Luspatercept in Chinese Adults with Transfusion Dependent β-thalassemia: a Real-world Study

Addition of JSP191 (C-kit Antibody) to Nonmyeloablative Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Sickle Cell Disease and Beta-Thalassemia

Study of Safety & PK of Luspatercept (ACE-536) in Pediatric Participants Who Require Regular RBC Transfusions Due to Beta (β)-Thalassemia.

PK of SOF/LED in HCV - Infected Adolescents with Hematological Disorders

A Study to Evaluate the Safety and Effectiveness of Luspatercept for the Treatment of Transfusion-dependent (TD) Anemia Associated with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) & Beta-thalassemia (β-Thal) in India

caEDIT-301 for Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) in Participants with Transfusion-Dependent Beta Thalassemia (TDT

The BENeFiTS Trial in Beta Thalassemia Intermedia

A Study to Evaluate Long-term Safety in Participants Who Have Participated in Other Luspatercept (ACE-536) Clinical Trials


T-Cell Depleted Alternative Donor Bone Marrow Transplant for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and Other Anemias

A Study of Immune Suppression Treatment for People with Sickle Cell Disease or β-Thalassemia Who Are Going to Receive an Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT)

Clinical Study to Evaluate the Possible Efficacy and Safety of L- Carnitine and Sildenafil in Children Having Beta Thalassemia with Increased Tricuspid Regurgitant Jet Velocity


Repeat Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease and Falling Donor Myeloid Chimerism Levels

EDIT-301 for Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) in Participants with Transfusion-Dependent Beta Thalassemia (TDT)





DiseaseLandscape Insights (DLI) helps companies build and run effective strategies to prevent and control Beta Thalassemia epidemics. Furthermore, as awareness and anticipated epidemics grow, there is a growing demand for diagnostic tools, clinical evaluations, and novel therapeutics.

Major players involved in the production of medicinal items might benefit from the information and experience provided by DiseaseLandscape Insights. The assistance provided by DLI facilitates patient recruitment strategies, regulatory compliance, and the planning and execution of clinical trials for novel medications and pharmaceuticals.

This ultimately motivates the leaders to conduct qualitative research, investigate manufacturing companies, and find out about raw material sources. All industry participants gain a stronger foothold in Beta Thalassemia and keep one step ahead with the help of DiseaseLandscape Insights.

Vishal SawantBusiness Development

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