Objective: To evaluate the safety and explore the efficacy of enzyme replacement therapy with agalsidase beta (recombinant human alpha-galactosidase A; Fabrazyme [Genzyme Corporation, Cambridge, MA]) in pediatric patients with Fabry disease, a genetic disorder in which deficient endogenous enzyme causes pathogenic tissue accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (GL-3).
Study design: Fourteen male and 2 female patients, 8 to 16 years old, were treated in this open-label study. A 12-week observation period to collect baseline data preceded the 48-week treatment period when agalsidase beta (1 mg/kg) was infused intravenously every 2 weeks. No primary efficacy end point was specified.
Results: Before treatment, results of skin biopsies from 12 male patients showed moderate or severe GL-3 accumulation in superficial dermal capillary endothelial cells; with treatment, these cells were completely cleared of GL-3 in week-24 biopsies from all 12 male patients and in all available week-48 biopsies. With treatment, reports of gastrointestinal symptoms declined steadily. Patient diaries documented significant reductions in school absences due to sickness. Agalsidase beta was generally well tolerated; most treatment-related adverse events were mild or moderate infusion-associated reactions involving rigors, fever, or rhinitis.
Conclusions: Agalsidase beta safely and effectively reduced the GL-3 accumulation in dermal endothelium already evident in children with Fabry disease. Early intervention may prevent irreversible end-organ damage from chronic GL-3 deposition.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00074958.