Pfizer and Protalix BioTherapeutics announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ELELYSO™ (taliglucerase alfa) for injection for pediatric patients. ELELYSO is therefore now indicated for long-term enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) for adult and pediatric patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Type 1 Gaucher disease.
“The approval of ELELYSO to treat pediatric patients with Type 1 Gaucher disease provides physicians another treatment option for this rare and potentially debilitating disease,” said Rory O’Connor, Senior Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, Global Innovative Pharma Business, Pfizer Inc. “This pediatric indication, along with the recent announcement that ELELYSO received kosher certification by the Orthodox Union (OU), reinforces the ongoing commitment of Pfizer to addressing the needs of the Gaucher community.”
The safety and efficacy of ELELYSO were assessed in fourteen pediatric patients with Type 1 Gaucher disease in two clinical trials. The first trial consisted of nine patients in a 12-month, multi-center, double-blind, randomized study in treatment-naïve patients aged two to 13 years. At the end of the 12-month study, therapeutic efficacy of ELELYSO was demonstrated, as measured by a decrease in spleen and liver volume and an increase in platelet count. A second trial consisted of 5 pediatric patients aged 6 to 16 years who were switched from imiglucerase to ELELYSO. The trial was a 9-month, multi-center, open-label, single-arm study in patients who had been receiving treatment with imiglucerase at dosages ranging from 9.5 units/kg to 60 units/kg every other week for a minimum of 2 years. ELELYSO was administered for 9 months at the same dose as each patient’s previous imiglucerase dose. If needed, adjustment of dosage was allowed during the study in order to maintain stability of clinical parameters. Mean spleen and liver volume, platelet count and hemoglobin value remained stable through 9 months of ELELYSO treatment.
The recommended dosage of ELELSYO for treatment-naïve adult and pediatric patients four years of age and older is 60 units per kg of body weight administered every other week as a 60 to 120 minute intravenous infusion.
Patients previously treated on a stable dosage of imiglucerase are recommended to begin treatment with ELELYSO at that same dosage when they switch from imiglucerase to ELELYSO. Dosage adjustments can be made based on achievement and maintenance of each patient’s therapeutic goals.
Serious hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis, have occurred in some patients treated with ELELYSO. The most common adverse reactions for ELELYSO in clinical trials were itching, flushing, headache, joint pain, pain in extremity, abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, back pain, dizziness, nausea and rash. Vomiting occurred more often in pediatric patients than adults.
“While Type 1 Gaucher disease can manifest in childhood or adulthood, the disease more often presents during childhood,” said Paige Kaplan, MB, BCh, Section of Biochemical Genetics (Metabolic Diseases), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “It is important that children with this disease have access to a range of FDA-approved treatment options that are effective.”