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Phase II study of an oral therapy for Gaucher disease yields positive results
Date:5/3/2010

(WASHINGTON, May 3, 2010) Gaucher disease, a rare enzyme deficiency disorder, is one of many conditions with few approved treatment options for patients. In a study published online today in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, researchers present positive results of a Phase II clinical trial of eliglustat tartrate, an oral therapy in development to treat Gaucher disease.

Gaucher disease is a genetic disorder affecting an estimated 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000 people in the U.S. population. Gaucher disease occurs when a mutation of the glucocerebrosidase gene causes low activity of that enzyme in the body. As a result, harmful fatty substances accumulate in the liver, spleen, bones, and bone marrow, preventing cells and organs from working properly. The primary treatment option is enzyme replacement therapy, which is given intravenously, to break down the accumulated fatty substances.

Eliglustat tartrate is an oral drug currently in development for Gaucher disease type 1 (GD1). As a substrate reduction therapy, the drug decreases the body's production of the fatty substances so they do not accumulate in cells. Based on Phase I trials in healthy volunteers that demonstrated positive initial safety results, the research team initiated a multinational, open-label, single-arm Phase II study of 26 GD1 patients to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics (how the body absorbs and processes the drug) of eliglustat tartrate administered orally at 50mg or 100mg doses twice daily. Eligible patients had confirmed Gaucher disease, characterized as enzyme deficiency and a spleen volume at least 10 times greater than normal, plus abnormal values of either platelet count or hemoglobin levels.

"As with many other rare conditions, we strive to develop new options with improved efficacy and safety for our patients, but we also look for options that may be easier on the provider and the patient.In this case, we we
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Contact: Wendy Stokes
webmaster@hematology.org
202-776-0544
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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