Cinryze is used to treat hereditary angioedema, a rare genetic condition that runs in some families and causes life-threatening and painful swelling of the hands, feet, face, genitals, abdomen and throat. The condition occurs because a gene that controls a blood protein called C1 inhibitor is defective. C1 inhibitor helps the immune system function and blood to clot. But in people with HAE, C1 inhibitor levels are abnormally low or undetectable.
The condition affects about one in 10,000 to 50,000 people. If one parent has the condition, that person's children have a 50 percent chance of having HAE, although studies show the condition can also appear spontaneously. There have been few options for treating HAE. Cinryze, manufactured by ViroPharma, is an intravenous medication made from human blood. It was approved in 2008 to prevent attacks and limit swelling.