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1.  Impact of Enzyme Replacement Therapy on Linear Growth in Korean Patients with Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II (Hunter Syndrome) 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(2):254-260.
Hunter syndrome (or mucopolysaccharidosis type II [MPS II]) arises because of a deficiency in the lysosomal enzyme iduronate-2-sulfatase. Short stature is a prominent and consistent feature in MPS II. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with idursulfase (Elaprase®) or idursulfase beta (Hunterase®) have been developed for these patients. The effect of ERT on the growth of Korean patients with Hunter syndrome was evaluated at a single center. This study comprised 32 patients, who had received ERT for at least 2 yr; they were divided into three groups according to their ages at the start of ERT: group 1 (<6 yr, n=14), group 2 (6-10 yr, n=11), and group 3 (10-20 yr, n=7). The patients showed marked growth retardation as they got older. ERT may have less effect on the growth of patients with the severe form of Hunter syndrome. The height z-scores in groups 2 and 3 revealed a significant change (the estimated slopes before and after the treatment were -0.047 and -0.007, respectively: difference in the slope, 0.04; P<0.001). Growth in response to ERT could be an important treatment outcome or an endpoint for future studies.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC3924006  PMID: 24550654
Mucopolysaccharidosis II; Hunter Syndrome; Enzyme Replacement Therapy; Growth; Elaprase; Hunterase
2.  The Effect of Recombinant Human Iduronate-2-Sulfatase (Idursulfase) on Growth in Young Patients with Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85074.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II; Hunter syndrome) is an X-linked, recessive, lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of iduronate-2-sulfatase. Early bone involvement leads to decreased growth velocity and short stature in nearly all patients. Our analysis aimed to investigate the effects of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with idursulfase (Elaprase) on growth in young patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type II. Analysis of longitudinal anthropometric data of MPS II patients (group 1, n = 13) who started ERT before 6 years of age (range from 3 months to 6 years, mean 3.6 years, median 4 years) was performed and then compared with retrospective analysis of data for MPS II patients naïve to ERT (group 2, n = 50). Patients in group 1 received intravenous idursulfase at a standard dose of 0.58 mg/kg weekly for 52–288 weeks. The course of average growth curve for group 1 was very similar to growth pattern in group 2. The average value of body height in subsequent years in group 1 was a little greater than in group 2, however, the difference was not statistically significant. In studied patients with MPS II, idursulfase did not appear to alter the growth patterns.
PMCID: PMC3890314  PMID: 24454794
3.  Cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy for type 1 Gaucher disease 
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) compared to standard medical care without ERT in the Dutch cohort of patients with type 1 Gaucher disease (GD I).
Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed using a life-time state-transition model of the disease’s natural course. Transition probabilities, effectiveness data and costs were derived from retrospective data and prospective follow-up of the Dutch study cohort.
The tertiary referral center for Gaucher disease in the Netherlands.
The Dutch cohort of patients with GD I.
ERT versus standard medical care without ERT in symptomatic patients.
Main outcome measures
Years free of end organ damage (YFEOD) (splenectomy, bone complication, malignancy, multiple complications), quality adjusted life years (QALY), and costs.
Over an 85 year lifetime, an untreated GD I patient will generate 48.9 YFEOD and 55.86 QALYs. Starting ERT in a symptomatic patient increases the YFEOD by 12.8 years, while the number of QALYs gained increases by 6.27. The average yearly ERT medication costs range between €124,000 and €258,000 per patient. The lifetime costs of ERT starting in the symptomatic stage are €5,716,473 against €171,780 without ERT, a difference of €5,544,693. Consequently, the extra costs per additional YFEOD or per additional QALY are €434,416 and €884,994 respectively. After discounting effects by 1.5% and costs by 4% and under a reasonable scenario of ERT unit cost reduction by 25%, these incremental cost-effectiveness ratios could decrease to €149,857 and €324,812 respectively.
ERT is a highly potential drug for GD I with substantial health gains. The conservatively estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios are substantially lower than for Pompe and Fabry disease. We suggest that the high effectiveness has contributed importantly to acceptance of reimbursement of ERT for GD I. The present study may further support discussions on acceptable price limits for ultra-orphan products.
PMCID: PMC4022049  PMID: 24731506
4.  Enzyme replacement is associated with better cognitive outcomes after transplant in Hurler syndrome 
The Journal of pediatrics  2012;162(2):375-380.e1.
To investigate whether intravenous enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) benefits cognitive function in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis Type IH (Hurler syndrome, MPS IH) undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT).
Study design
Data were obtained for nine children treated with HCT + ERT (ERT group) and ten children with HCT only (No ERT group) from neuropsychological evaluations prior to HCT and at 1 and 2 years follow-up.
Two years following HCT, children in the ERT group lost 9.19 fewer IQ points per year than children in the No ERT group (P=0.031). Further, the ERT group improved in nonverbal problem solving and processing, whereas the No ERT group declined, resulting in a difference of 9.44 points between the groups per year (P<0.001).
ERT in association with HCT enhances cognitive outcomes, providing new evidence that ERT is a valuable addition to the standard transplant protocol. Although the mechanism for this improved outcome is unknown, both direct benefits and indirect effects must be considered.
PMCID: PMC3524404  PMID: 22974573
mucopolysaccharidosis; hematopoietic cell transplantation; blood brain barrier
5.  Enzyme replacement therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis VI: Growth and pubertal development in patients treated with recombinant human N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase 
Background and Methods
Growth failure is characteristic of untreated mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI: Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome). Growth was studied in fifty-six MPS VI patients (5 to 29 years old) prior to and for up to 240 weeks of weekly infusions of recombinant human arylsulfatase B (rhASB) at 1 mg/kg during Phase 1/2, Phase 2, Phase 3 or Phase 3 Extension clinical trials. Height, weight, and Tanner stage data were collected. Pooled data were analyzed to determine mean height increase by treatment week, growth impacts of pubertal status, baseline urinary GAG, and age at treatment initiation. Growth rate for approximately 2 years prior to and following treatment initiation was analyzed using longitudinal modeling.
Mean height increased by 2.9 cm after 48 weeks and 4.3 cm after 96 weeks on enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). Growth on ERT was not correlated with baseline urinary GAG. Patients under 16 years of age showed greatest increases in height on treatment. Model results based on pooled data showed significant improvement in growth rate during 96 weeks of ERT when compared to the equivalent pretreatment time period. Delayed pubertal onset or progression was noted in 10 patients entering the clinical trials; all of whom showed progression of at least one Tanner stage during 2 years on ERT, and 6 of whom (60%) completed puberty.
Analysis of mean height by treatment week and longitudinal modeling demonstrate significant increase in height and growth rate in MPS VI patients receiving long-term ERT. This impact was greatest in patients aged below 16 years. Height increase may result from bone growth and/or reduction in joint contractures. Bone growth and resolution of delayed puberty may be related to improvements in general health, bone cell health, nutrition, endocrine gland function and reduced inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2904323  PMID: 20634905
Mucopolysaccharidosis VI; N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase; arylsulfatase B; enzyme replacement therapy; glycosaminoglycans; growth; puberty
6.  Effect of enzyme therapy and prognostic factors in 69 adults with Pompe disease: an open-label single-center study 
Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) in adults with Pompe disease, a progressive neuromuscular disorder, is of promising but variable efficacy. We investigated whether it alters the course of disease, and also identified potential prognostic factors.
Patients in this open-label single-center study were treated biweekly with 20 mg/kg alglucosidase alfa. Muscle strength, muscle function, and pulmonary function were assessed every 3–6 months and analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA.
Sixty-nine patients (median age 52.1 years) were followed for a median of 23 months. Muscle strength increased after start of ERT (manual muscle testing 1.4 percentage points per year (pp/y); hand-held dynamometry 4.0 pp/y; both p < 0.001). Forced vital capacity (FVC) remained stable when measured in upright, but declined in supine position (−1.1 pp/y; p = 0.03). Muscle function did not improve in all patients (quick motor function test 0.7 pp/y; p = 0.14), but increased significantly in wheelchair-independent patients and those with mild and moderate muscle weakness.
Relative to the pre-treatment period (49 patients with 14 months pre-ERT and 22 months ERT median follow-up), ERT affected muscle strength positively (manual muscle testing +3.3 pp/y, p < 0.001 and hand-held dynamometry +7.9 pp/y, p < 0.001). Its effect on upright FVC was +1.8 pp/y (p = 0.08) and on supine FVC +0.8 (p = 0.38). Favorable prognostic factors were female gender for muscle strength, and younger age and better clinical status for supine FVC.
We conclude that ERT positively alters the natural course of Pompe disease in adult patients; muscle strength increased and upright FVC stabilized. Functional outcome is probably best when ERT intervention is timely.
PMCID: PMC3519647  PMID: 23013746
Pompe disease; Glycogen storage disease type II; OMIM number 232300; Acid α-glucosidase; Alglucosidase alfa; Enzyme replacement therapy; Lysosomal storage disorder; Muscle strength; Lung function
7.  Effects of imiglucerase on the growth and metabolism of Gaucher disease type I patients: a systematic review 
Gaucher disease (GD) type I is the most common type of GD. Its main clinical manifestations are hepatosplenomegaly as well as bone and hematological abnormalities. The objective of the present study was to perform a literature review on the growth and metabolism of GD type I patients.
We searched Pubmed and databases with predetermined study limits: case series (n≥5), clinical trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses, and enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with alglucerase or imiglucerase. The outcomes of interest were the following: growth and development, weight, height, malnutrition, overweight, obesity, basal metabolism, hypermetabolism, insulin resistance, and diabetes. A total of 175 articles were found, of which 28 met the inclusion criteria; these articles were grouped into three central themes: 1) growth of children and adolescents before and after ERT; 2) metabolic changes that remained during ERT; and 3) changes in metabolic status resulting from the treatment.
Results and discussion
The articles included in the present literature review are very heterogeneous, which hinders the analysis of data. They indicated that GD patients usually show low weight and height before ERT, which are improved with treatment in children and adolescents. Studies evaluating the energy metabolism by indirect calorimetry have indicated that the disease is associated with hypermetabolism. In adults, some changes in energy metabolism remain on ERT, and alterations, such as insulin resistance, seem to be associated with the treatment. It is not clear which are the required doses of imiglucerase for obtaining an adequate cost-effective relation, as well as the advisable therapeutic measures to avoid possible long-term adverse effects related to ERT.
ERT tends to normalise the growth of children and adolescents with GD type I, it seems to cause a partial response in relation to some metabolic changes associated with the disease, and it can causes metabolic changes such as weight gain in adult patients. Therefore, additional research is necessary.
PMCID: PMC3630065  PMID: 23570288
Gaucher Disease; Imiglucerase; Growth; Metabolism
8.  Enzyme replacement therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis VI: evaluation of long-term pulmonary function in patients treated with recombinant human N-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase 
Pulmonary function is impaired in untreated mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI). Pulmonary function was studied in patients during long-term enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with recombinant human arylsulfatase B (rhASB; rhN-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase). Pulmonary function tests prior to and for up to 240 weeks of weekly infusions of rhASB at 1 mg/kg were completed in 56 patients during Phase 1/2, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 3 Extension trials of rhASB and the Survey Study. Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and, in a subset of patients, maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), were analyzed as absolute volume in liters. FEV1 and FVC showed little change from baseline during the first 24 weeks of ERT, but after 96 weeks, these parameters increased over baseline by 11% and 17%, respectively. This positive trend compared with baseline continued beyond 96 weeks of treatment. Improvements from baseline in pulmonary function occurred along with gains in height in the younger group (5.5% change) and in the older patient group (2.4% change) at 96 weeks. Changes in MVV occurred earlier within 24 weeks of treatment to approximately 15% over baseline. Model results based on data from all trials showed significant improvements in the rate of change in pulmonary function during 96 weeks on ERT, whereas little or no improvement was observed for the same time period prior to ERT. Thus, analysis of mean percent change data and longitudinal modeling both indicate that long-term ERT resulted in improvement in pulmonary function in MPS VI patients.
PMCID: PMC2828556  PMID: 20140523
9.  Plasmatic and Urinary Glycosaminoglycans Characterization in Mucopolysaccharidosis II Patient Treated with Enzyme-Replacement Therapy with Idursulfase 
JIMD Reports  2011;4:79-90.
We report the structural characterization of plasmatic and urinary GAGs in a patient affected by MPS II (Hunter syndrome) before and during the first 10 months of enzyme-replacement therapy (ERT). Plasmatic GAGs before ERT were rich in pathological DS consisting of iduronic acid (IdoA) and composed of ~90% ΔDi4s and trace amounts of disulfated disaccharides. DS was also characterized as the main (~90%) urinary GAG mainly composed of ~90% ΔDi4s with minor percentages of monosulfated and disulfated disaccharides, in particular ΔDi2,4dis. After 300 days of ERT, plasmatic DS strongly decreased but ~14% of IdoA-rich ΔDi4s was still detected. Similarly, urinary galactosaminoglycans were mainly composed of 78% ΔDi4s, ~11% ΔDi6s and ~4% ΔDi0s with the persistence of ΔDi2,4dis (~4%). About 40% of IdoA-formed ΔDi4s were also calculated, thus confirming that pathological DS is still present in excreted urinary GAGs during ERT. By considering the % of IdoA, we observed rather similar kinetics of excretion in fluids from the beginning of the treatment. Immediately after the first enzyme infusion, a large amount of abnormal DS is removed from tissues reaching the blood compartment and eliminated via the urine, and this process lasts for about 2 weeks. After this, the percentage of IdoA-rich material present in biological fluids remains fairly constant over the following 9 months of treatment. To date, these are the first data regarding plasmatic and urinary kinetics directly measured on products released by the activity of the recombinant enzyme Idursulfase, iduronate-2-sulfatase, evaluated using specific and sensitive analytical procedures.
PMCID: PMC3509895  PMID: 23430900
10.  Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (Hunter syndrome): a clinical review and recommendations for treatment in the era of enzyme replacement therapy 
European Journal of Pediatrics  2007;167(3):267-277.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II; Hunter syndrome) is a rare X-linked recessive disease caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme iduronate-2-sulphatase, leading to progressive accumulation of glycosaminoglycans in nearly all cell types, tissues and organs. Clinical manifestations include severe airway obstruction, skeletal deformities, cardiomyopathy and, in most patients, neurological decline. Death usually occurs in the second decade of life, although some patients with less severe disease have survived into their fifth or sixth decade. Until recently, there has been no effective therapy for MPS II, and care has been palliative. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with recombinant human iduronate-2-sulphatase (idursulfase), however, has now been introduced. Weekly intravenous infusions of idursulfase have been shown to improve many of the signs and symptoms and overall wellbeing in patients with MPS II. This paper provides an overview of the clinical manifestations, diagnosis and symptomatic management of patients with MPS II and provides recommendations for the use of ERT. The issue of treating very young patients and those with CNS involvement is also discussed. ERT with idursulfase has the potential to benefit many patients with MPS II, especially if started early in the course of the disease.
PMCID: PMC2234442  PMID: 18038146
Mucopolysaccharidosis type II; Hunter syndrome; Enzyme replacement therapy; Idursulfase; Treatment recommendations
11.  Enzyme replacement therapy for Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I among patients followed within the MPS Brazil Network 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2013;37(1):23-29.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) is a rare lysosomal disorder caused by deficiency of alpha-L-iduronidase. Few clinical trials have assessed the effect of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for this condition. We conducted an exploratory, open-label, non-randomized, multicenter cohort study of patients with MPS I. Data were collected from questionnaires completed by attending physicians at the time of diagnosis (T1; n = 34) and at a median time of 2.5 years later (T2; n = 24/34). The 24 patients for whom data were available at T2 were allocated into groups: A, no ERT (9 patients; median age at T1 = 36 months; 6 with severe phenotype); B, on ERT (15 patients; median age at T1 = 33 months; 4 with severe phenotype). For all variables in which there was no between-group difference at baseline, a delta of ≥ ± 20% was considered clinically relevant. The following clinically relevant differences were identified in group B in T2: lower rates of mortality and reported hospitalization for respiratory infection; lower frequency of hepatosplenomegaly; increased reported rates of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and hearing loss; and stabilization of gibbus deformity. These changes could be due to the effect of ERT or of other therapies which have also been found more frequently in group B. Our findings suggest MPS I patients on ERT also receive a better overall care. ERT may have a positive effect on respiratory morbidity and overall mortality in patients with MPS I. Additional studies focusing on these outcomes and on other therapies should be performed.
PMCID: PMC3958322  PMID: 24688287
enzyme replacement therapy; Laronidase; Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I; alpha-L-iduronidase
12.  Timing of initiation of enzyme replacement therapy after diagnosis of type 1 Gaucher disease: effect on incidence of avascular necrosis 
British Journal of Haematology  2009;147(4):561-570.
Data from the International Collaborative Gaucher Group Gaucher Registry were analysed to assess the relationship between enzyme replacement therapy with imiglucerase (ERT) and incidence of avascular necrosis (AVN) in type 1 Gaucher disease (GD1), and to determine whether the time interval between diagnosis and initiation of ERT influences the incidence rate of AVN. All patients with GD1 enrolled in the Gaucher Registry who received ERT and did not report AVN prior to starting therapy (n = 2700) were included. The incidence rate of AVN following initiation of ERT was determined. An incidence rate of AVN of 13·8 per 1000 person-years was observed in patients receiving ERT. Patients who initiated ERT within 2 years of diagnosis had an incidence rate of 8·1 per 1000 person-years; patients who started ERT ≥2 years after diagnosis had an incidence rate of 16·6 per 1000 person-years. The adjusted incidence rate ratio was 0·59 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0·36–0·96, P = 0·0343]. Splenectomy was an independent risk factor for AVN (adjusted incidence rate ratio 2·23, 95% CI 1·61–3·08, P < 0·0001). In conclusion, the risk of AVN was reduced among patients who initiated ERT within 2 years of diagnosis, compared to initiating treatment ≥2 years after diagnosis. A higher risk of AVN was observed among patients who had previously undergone splenectomy.
PMCID: PMC2774157  PMID: 19732054
Gaucher disease; enzyme replacement therapy; avascular necrosis; imiglucerase
13.  Home treatment in paediatric patients with Hunter syndrome: the first Italian experience 
Hunter syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis type II [MPS II], OMIM309900) is a rare X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of the enzyme iduronate-2-sulphatase, resulting in accumulation of glycosaminoglycans, progressive multisystem organ failure, and early death. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with weekly intravenous infusions of idursulfase, a treatment for MPS II and commercially available since 2007, has been shown to improve certain symptoms and signs of the disease. The efficacy and safety data of this enzyme preparation have been widely reported and, after a change to the idursulfase Summary of Product Characteristics in March 2010, home ERT by infusion is now an option for selected patients. Previously reported experiences of home therapy in MPS II have shown increased treatment compliance and an improvement in quality of life for both patients and families. We report the results of the home therapy experience of 3 paediatric patients with MPS II in southern Italy. This pilot experience with home infusion is the first reported from Italy.
PMCID: PMC3847888  PMID: 24011228
Hunter syndrome; Enzyme replacement therapy; Idursulfase; Mucopolysaccharidoses; Home treatment (max 6)
14.  Enzyme replacement therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis VI: long-term cardiac effects of galsulfase (Naglazyme®) therapy 
Characteristic cardiac valve abnormalities and left ventricular hypertrophy are present in untreated patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI). Cardiac ultrasound was performed to investigate these findings in subjects during long-term enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with recombinant human arylsulfatase B (rhASB, rhN-acetylgalactosamine 4-sulfatase, galsulfase, Naglazyme®). Studies were conducted in 54 subjects before ERT was begun and at specific intervals for up to 96 weeks of weekly infusions of rhASB at 1 mg/kg during phase 1/2, phase 2, and phase 3 trials of rhASB. At baseline, mitral and aortic valve obstruction was present and was significantly greater in those ≥12 years of age. Mild mitral and trace aortic regurgitation were present, the former being significantly greater in those <12 years. Left ventricular hypertrophy, with averaged z-scores ranging from 1.6–1.9 SD greater than normal, was present for ages both <12 and ≥12 years. After 96 weeks of ERT, ventricular septal hypertrophy regressed in those <12 years. For those ≥12 years, septal hypertrophy was unchanged, and aortic regurgitation increased statistically but not physiologically. Obstructive gradients across mitral and aortic valves remained unchanged. The results suggest that long-term ERT is effective in reducing intraventricular septal hypertrophy and preventing progression of cardiac valve abnormalities when administered to those <12 years of age.
PMCID: PMC3590402  PMID: 22669363
15.  Myostatin and Insulin-Like Growth Factor I: Potential Therapeutic Biomarkers for Pompe Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71900.
Myostatin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) are serum markers for muscle growth and regeneration. However, their value in the clinical monitoring of Pompe disease – a muscle glycogen storage disease – is not known. In order to evaluate their possible utility for disease monitoring, we assessed the levels of these serum markers in Pompe disease patients receiving enzyme replacement therapy (ERT).
A case-control study that included 10 patients with Pompe disease and 10 gender- and age-matched non-Pompe disease control subjects was performed in a referral medical center. Average follow-up duration after ERT for Pompe disease patients was 11.7 months (range: 6–23 months). Measurements of serum myostatin, IGF-1, and creatine kinase levels were obtained, and examinations of muscle pathology were undertaken before and after ERT in the patient group.
Compared with control subjects, Pompe disease patients prior to undergoing ERT had significantly lower serum IGF-1 levels (98.6 ng/ml vs. 307.9 ng/ml, p = 0.010) and lower myostatin levels that bordered on significance (1.38 ng/ml vs. 3.32 ng/ml, p = 0.075). After ERT, respective myostatin and IGF-1 levels in Pompe disease patients increased significantly by 129% (from 1.38 ng/ml to 3.16 ng/ml, p = 0.047) and 74% (from 98.6 ng/ml to 171.1 ng/ml, p = 0.013); these values fall within age-matched normal ranges. In contrast, myostatin and IGF-1 serum markers did not increase in age-matched controls. Follistatin, a control marker unrelated to muscle, increased in both Pompe disease patients and control subjects. At the same time, the percentage of muscle fibers containing intracytoplasmic vacuoles decreased from 80.0±26.4% to 31.6±45.3%.
The increase in myostatin and IGF-1 levels in Pompe disease patients may reflect muscle regeneration after ERT. The role of these molecules as potential therapeutic biomarkers in Pompe disease and other neuromuscular diseases warrants further study.
PMCID: PMC3743802  PMID: 23967261
16.  Impact of enzyme replacement therapy on survival in adults with Pompe disease: results from a prospective international observational study 
Pompe disease is a rare metabolic myopathy for which disease-specific enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has been available since 2006. ERT has shown efficacy concerning muscle strength and pulmonary function in adult patients. However, no data on the effect of ERT on the survival of adult patients are currently available. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of ERT on survival in adult patients with Pompe disease.
Data were collected as part of an international observational study conducted between 2002 and 2011, in which patients were followed on an annual basis. Time-dependent Cox’s proportional hazards models were used for univariable and multivariable analyses.
Overall, 283 adult patients with a median age of 48 years (range, 19 to 81 years) were included in the study. Seventy-two percent of patients started ERT at some time during follow-up, and 28% never received ERT. During follow-up (median, 6 years; range, 0.04 to 9 years), 46 patients died, 28 (61%) of whom had never received ERT. After adjustment for age, sex, country of residence, and disease severity (based on wheelchair and ventilator use), ERT was positively associated with survival (hazard ratio, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.87).
This prospective study was the first to demonstrate the positive effect of ERT on survival in adults with Pompe disease. Given the relatively recent registration of ERT for Pompe disease, these findings further support its beneficial impact in adult patients.
PMCID: PMC3623847  PMID: 23531252
Pompe disease; Survival; Acid maltase deficiency; Lysosomal storage disease; Glycogen storage disease type II; Enzyme replacement therapy; Alglucosidase alfa
17.  Algorithm for the Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Cross Reactive Immunologic Material-Negative Classic Infantile Pompe Disease: A Step towards Improving the Efficacy of ERT 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67052.
Although enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is a highly effective therapy, CRIM-negative (CN) infantile Pompe disease (IPD) patients typically mount a strong immune response which abrogates the efficacy of ERT, resulting in clinical decline and death. This study was designed to demonstrate that immune tolerance induction (ITI) prevents or diminishes the development of antibody titers, resulting in a better clinical outcome compared to CN IPD patients treated with ERT monotherapy.
We evaluated the safety, efficacy and feasibility of a clinical algorithm designed to accurately identify CN IPD patients and minimize delays between CRIM status determination and initiation of an ITI regimen (combination of rituximab, methotrexate and IVIG) concurrent with ERT. Clinical and laboratory data including measures of efficacy analysis for response to ERT were analyzed and compared to CN IPD patients treated with ERT monotherapy.
Seven CN IPD patients were identified and started on the ITI regimen concurrent with ERT. Median time from diagnosis of CN status to commencement of ERT and ITI was 0.5 months (range: 0.1–1.6 months). At baseline, all patients had significant cardiomyopathy and all but one required respiratory support. The ITI regimen was safely tolerated in all seven cases. Four patients never seroconverted and remained antibody-free. One patient died from respiratory failure. Two patients required another course of the ITI regimen. In addition to their clinical improvement, the antibody titers observed in these patients were much lower than those seen in ERT monotherapy treated CN patients.
The ITI regimen appears safe and efficacious and holds promise in altering the natural history of CN IPD by increasing ERT efficacy. An algorithm such as this substantiates the benefits of accelerated diagnosis and management of CN IPD patients, thus, further supporting the importance of early identification and treatment initiation with newborn screening for IPD.
PMCID: PMC3692419  PMID: 23825616
18.  Long term enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry disease: effectiveness on kidney, heart and brain 
Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by α-galactosidase A deficiency leading to renal, cardiac, cerebrovascular disease and premature death. Treatment with α-galactosidase A (enzyme replacement therapy, ERT) stabilises disease in some patients, but long term effectiveness is unclear.
Renal, cardiac, and cerebral outcomes were prospectively studied in males and females with Fabry disease treated with ERT. Additionally, the occurrence of major cardiac events, stroke, end-stage renal disease and death was compared to a natural history (NH) cohort meeting treatment criteria.
Of 75 patients on ERT (median treatment duration 5.2 years, range 0.05-11.0), prospective follow-up was available for 57 adult patients (30 males) and 6 adolescents. Renal function declined in males (-3.4 ml/min/1.73 m2 per year, SE 0.2; p < 0.001) despite ERT, but followed the normal course in females (-0.8 ml/min/1.73 m2 per year, SE 0.3; p = 0.001). Cardiac mass increased during ERT in males (+ 1.2 gram/m2.7, SE 0.3; p < 0.001), but remained stable in females (-0.3 gram/m2.7 per year, SE 0.4; p = 0.52). ERT did not prevent the occurrence of cerebral white matter lesions. Comparison of ERT treated to untreated patients revealed that the odds to develop a first complication increased with age (OR 1.05 (95% CI: 1.0-1.1) per year, p = 0.012). For development of a first or second complication the odds declined with longer treatment duration (OR 0.81 (95% CI: 0.68-0.96) per year of ERT, p = 0.015;OR 0.52 (0.31-0.88), p = 0.014 respectively).
Long term ERT does not prevent disease progression, but the risk of developing a first or second complication declines with increasing treatment duration. ERT in advanced Fabry disease seems of doubtful benefit.
PMCID: PMC3626869  PMID: 23531228
19.  Effects of enzyme replacement therapy for cardiac-type Fabry patients with a Chinese hotspot late-onset Fabry mutation (IVS4+919G>A) 
BMJ Open  2013;3(7):e003146.
Current studies of newborn screening for Fabry disease in Taiwan have revealed a remarkably high prevalence of cardiac-type Fabry disease with a Chinese hotspot late-onset Fabry mutation (IVS4+919G>A).
Retrospective cohort study.
Tertiary medical centre.
21 patients with cardiac-type Fabry disease (15 men and 6 women) as well as 15 patients with classic Fabry disease (4 men and 11 women) treated with biweekly intravenous infusions of agalsidase β (1 mg/kg) or agalsidase α (0.2 mg/kg) for at least 6 months.
Outcome measures
These data were collected at the time before enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) began and followed up after ERT for at least 6 months, including patient demographics, medical history, parameter changes of cardiac status and renal functions, plasma globotriaosylsphingosine (lyso-Gb3) and Mainz Severity Score Index.
After 6–39 months of ERT, plasma lyso-Gb3 was found to be reduced in 89% (17/19) and 93% (14/15) of patients with cardiac-type and classic Fabry disease, respectively, which indicated an improvement of disease severity. For patients with cardiac-type Fabry disease, echocardiography revealed the reduction or stabilisation of left ventricular mass index (LVMI), the thicknesses of intraventricular septum (IVS) and left posterior wall (LPW) in 83% (15/18), 83% (15/18) and 67% (12/18) of patients, respectively, as well as 77% (10/13), 73% (11/15) and 60% (9/15) for those with classic type. Most patients showed stable renal function after ERT. There were statistically significant improvements (p<0.05) between the data at baseline and those after ERT for values of plasma lyso-Gb3, LVMI, IVS, LPW and Mainz Severity Score Index. No severe clinical events were reported during the treatment.
ERT is beneficial and appears to be safe for Taiwanese patients with cardiac-type Fabry disease, as well as for those with the classic type.
PMCID: PMC3717460  PMID: 23864212
enzyme replacement therapy; Fabry disease; IVS4+919G>A; globotriaosylsphingosine; hypertrophy
20.  Combined Enzyme Replacement Therapy and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Mucopolysacharidosis Type VI 
JIMD Reports  2011;2:103-106.
Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI, Maroteaux–Lamy syndrome is a lysosomal storage disorder with progressive, multisystem involvement caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme N-acetylgalactosamine-4-sulfatase leading to accumulation of the glycosaminoglycan, keratan sulfate. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has been shown to clinically benefit affected individuals. A combined treatment regime of ERT and hemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has led to reduced morbidity and mortality in patients with MPS I. We have demonstrated that a treatment regime of ERT combined with HSCT in a 3-year-old girl with MPS VI provided similar benefit. This treatment regimen should be considered in the management of selected patients with MPS VI. Neither HSCT nor ERT can correct or completely prevent progression of the musculoskeletal complications. Long-term follow-up and regular assessments for these complications is necessary.
PMCID: PMC3509847  PMID: 23430861
21.  Cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry disease 
The cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) compared to standard medical care was evaluated in the Dutch cohort of patients with Fabry disease.
Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed using a life-time state-transition model. Transition probabilities, effectiveness data and costs were derived from retrospective data and prospective follow-up of the Dutch study cohort consisting of males and females aged 5–78 years. Intervention with ERT (either agalsidase alfa or agalsidase beta) was compared to the standard medical care. The main outcome measures were years without end organ damage (renal, cardiac en cerebrovascular complications), quality adjusted life years (QALYs), and costs.
Over a 70 year lifetime, an untreated Fabry patient will generate 55.0 years free of end-organ damage (53.5 years in males, 56.9 years in females) and 48.6 QALYs (47.8 in males, 49.7 in females). Starting ERT in a symptomatic patient increases the number of years free of end-organ damage by 1.5 year (1.6 in males, 1.3 in females), while the number of QALYs gained increases by a similar amount (1.7 in males, 1.4 in females). The costs of ERT starting in the symptomatic stage are between €9 - €10 million (£ 7.9 - £ 8.8 million, $13.0- $14.5 million) during a patient’s lifetime. Consequently, the extra costs per additional year free of end-organ damage and the extra costs per additional QALY range from €5.5 - €7.5 million (£ 4.8 – £ 6.6 million, $ 8.0 – $ 10.8 million), undiscounted.
In symptomatic patients with Fabry disease, ERT has limited effect on quality of life and progression to end organ damage. The pharmaco-economic evaluation shows that this modest effectiveness drives the costs per QALY and the costs per year free of end-organ damage to millions of euros. Differentiation of patients who may benefit from ERT should be improved to enhance cost-effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC3598841  PMID: 23421808
22.  Bone events and evolution of biologic markers in Gaucher disease before and during treatment 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(4):R156.
Known biomarkers of Gaucher-disease activity are platelets, chitotriosidase, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) and ferritin. The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the frequency of bone events (BE) and biomarker changes during two periods: diagnosis to first enzyme-replacement therapy (ERT) and the latter to the closing date.
BE of 62 treated patients, among the 73-patient cohort followed at Beaujon Hospital, Clichy, France, were described with Kaplan-Meier curves, and linear-mixed models were used to analyze their biomarker changes and the influence of several covariates (splenectomy, diagnosis year, genotype, age at diagnosis and sex).
BE occurred before (54 events in 21 patients), but also during, ERT (12 events in 10 patients), with respective frequencies (95% confidence interval) at 10 years of 22.4% (13.3 to 36.3) and 20.0% (10.2 to 36.9). Biomarker slope changes before and during ERT differed significantly for platelets (+190/mm3/year and 7,035/mm3/year, respectively; P < 0.0001) and ferritin (+4% and -14%; P < 0.0001). High ferritin levels and low platelet counts at ERT onset were significantly associated with BE during ERT (P = 0.019 and 0.039, respectively). Covariates significantly influenced biomarker changes (baseline and/or slope): splenectomy affected platelets (baseline and changes), TRAP changes and chitotriosidase changes; diagnosis date influenced ACE and TRAP baseline values; and genotype influenced chitotriosidase baseline and changes.
Platelet counts and ferritin levels and their slope changes at ERT onset seem to predict BE during treatment. Biomarker baseline values and changes are dependent on several covariables.
PMCID: PMC2945057  PMID: 20696071
23.  Qualitative evaluation of the Canadian Fabry Disease Initiative 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2012;145(3):136-141.e3.
Background: In late 2005, the federal and provincial governments responded to an increasing demand from physicians and their patients with Fabry disease for access to enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). This response took the form of a nationwide clinical research study, the Canadian Fabry Disease Initiative (CFDI). Patients who enrolled as participants in this longitudinal study received 1 of 2 ERT treatments. The present study used a qualitative evaluative approach to describe the perspectives of various key stakeholders regarding the CFDI and its potential as a model for providing access to expensive drugs for rare diseases.
Methods: The CFDI was evaluated from the perspectives of 4 groups of key informants: patients, CFDI investigators, policy-makers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The qualitative methods strategy used for the study involved semistructured interviews, a holistic-inductive design and content analysis.
Results: Eighteen participants were interviewed. The study revealed that stakeholders held the following perceptions about the CFDI. The CFDI was created as a response to a drug reimbursement problem in Canada. Through specialist physicians, the CFDI has provided ERT to patients with Fabry disease across the country. The CFDI established a national database for collecting and monitoring the incidence of Fabry disease and information about ERT. The CFDI represented a collaborative effort among the various stakeholders (federal, provincial, pharmaceutical), but no stakeholder group thought that the CFDI was the correct response to the need for access to ERT. Finally, the CFDI can and should be redesigned, through modification of either its governing structure or its outcome goals.
Discussion: The CFDI was a prototype for sharing the costs of expensive therapies for rare diseases. It has provided ERT to many patients with Fabry disease for several years. However, it was poorly designed to meet its outcome goals and has been unable to provide therapy to all individuals with the disease. Therefore, many stakeholders saw this initiative as an inappropriate solution.
Conclusions: The CFDI has not met the expectations of key informant groups and some modifications may be necessary. A registry study might better accomplish the CFDI's original goals of providing access to treatment, gathering data and monitoring patients' progress.
PMCID: PMC3567523  PMID: 23509529
24.  Users of oestrogen replacement therapy have more knee cartilage than non-users 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2001;60(4):332-336.
BACKGROUND—Osteoarthritis (OA) is increasingly prevalent in the years after menopause. Epidemiological data suggest that the use of oestrogen replacement therapy (ERT) may protect against knee OA.
AIM—To test the hypothesis that long term ERT (longer than five years) is associated with increased knee cartilage in postmenopausal women.
METHODS—The study involved 81 women (42 current users (⩾ five years) of ERT and 39 who had never used it). Articular cartilage volumes were determined by processing images acquired in the sagittal plane using a T1 weighted fat suppressed magnetic resonance sequence on an independent work station.
RESULTS—After bone size had been accounted for, ERT users had higher tibial cartilage volume than non-users. Total tibial cartilage volume was 7.7% (0.23 ml) greater in the group of ERT users (2.98 (0.47) ml; mean (SD)) than in the untreated group (2.75 (0.50) ml). The difference, after adjustment for the significant explanatory factors (years since menopause, body mass index, age at menopause, and smoking), between the ERT users and non-users increased from 0.23 ml to 0.30 ml (95% confidence interval 0.08 to 0.52, p=0.008). These differences persisted after exclusion of women with OA.
CONCLUSIONS—After adjustment for multiple confounders, women using long term ERT have more knee cartilage than controls. This may indicate that ERT prevents loss of knee articular cartilage.

PMCID: PMC1753592  PMID: 11247861
25.  Biomarker analysis of Morquio syndrome: identification of disease state and drug responsive markers 
This study was conducted to identify potential biomarkers that could be used to evaluate disease progression and monitor responses to enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IVA.
Levels of 88 candidate biomarkers were compared in plasma samples from 50 healthy controls and 78 MPSIVA patients not receiving ERT to test for significant correlations to the presence of MPSIVA. MPSIVA samples were also tested for correlations between candidate biomarkers and age, endurance, or urinary keratin sulfate (KS) levels. Then, levels of the same 88 analytes were followed over 36 weeks in 20 MPSIVA patients receiving ERT to test for significant correlations related to ERT, age, or endurance.
Nineteen candidate biomarkers were significantly different between MPSIVA and unaffected individuals. Of these, five also changed significantly in response to ERT: alpha-1-antitrypsin, eotaxin, lipoprotein(a), matrix metalloprotein (MMP)-2, and serum amyloid P. Three of these were significantly lower in MPSIVA individuals versus unaffected controls and were increased during ERT: alpha-1-antitrypsin, lipoprotein(a), and serum amyloid P.
Candidate biomarkers alpha-1-antitrypsin, lipoprotein(a), and serum amyloid P may be suitable markers, in addition to urinary KS, to follow the response to ERT in MPSIVA patients.
PMCID: PMC3280178  PMID: 22176730

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