The FDA has approved Berinert, the first treatment for acute abdominal attacks and facial swelling associated with a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic disease called hereditary angioedema (HAE). Berinert is approved for adults and adolescents with HAE, which can occur spontaneously or during stress, surgery, or infection in patients diagnosed with HAE. The symptoms during abdominal attacks include severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. “Berinert will enhance the treatment options for individuals who experience acute abdominal attacks and facial swelling associated with hereditary angioedema,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., acting director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Berinert is a protein product derived from human plasma. It regulates clotting and inflammatory reactions that, when impaired, can lead to local tissue swelling. In a clinical trial of 124 adults and adolescents with C1 esterase, inhibitor deficiency, Berinert was shown to be effective at treating the symptoms of acute moderate to severe abdominal attacks and facial swelling in patients with HAE. Berinert is contraindicated in patients with a history of life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction to C1 esterase inhibitor preparations. The most serious adverse reaction reported in clinical studies was an increase in the severity of pain associated with HAE. The most common adverse reactions include subsequent HAE attack, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, muscle spasms, pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Berinert is manufactured by CSL Behring, Inc., Marburg, Germany.