A retrospective analysis of the potential impact of IgG antibodies to agalsidase beta on efficacy during enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry disease

Mol Genet Metab. 2009 Jan;96(1):4-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2008.10.004. Epub 2008 Nov 20.


Fabry disease results from a genetic deficiency of alpha-galactosidase A (alpha GAL) and the impaired catabolism of globotriasoylceramide (GL-3) and other glycosphingolipid substrates, which then accumulate pathogenically within most cells. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme), one of two available forms of recombinant human alpha GAL, involves regular intravenous infusions of the therapeutic protein. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to recombinant alpha GAL develop in the majority of patients upon repeated infusion. To explore whether anti-alpha GAL IgG interferes with therapeutic efficacy, retrospective analyses were conducted using data obtained from a total of 134 adult male and female patients with Fabry disease who were treated with agalsidase beta at 1mg/kg every 2 weeks for up to 5 years during placebo-controlled trials and the corresponding open-label extension studies. The analyses did not reveal a correlation between anti-alpha GAL IgG titers and the onset of clinical events or the rate of change in estimated GFR during treatment, and no statistically significant association was found between anti-alpha GAL IgG titers and abnormal elevations in plasma GL-3 during treatment. However, a statistically significant association was found between anti-alpha GAL IgG titers and observation of some GL-3 deposition in the dermal capillary endothelial cells of skin during treatment, suggesting that GL-3 clearance may be partially impaired in some patients with high antibody titers. Determination of the long-term impact of circulating anti-alpha GAL IgG antibodies on clinical outcomes will require continued monitoring, and serology testing is recommended as part of the routine care of Fabry disease patients during ERT.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Clinical Trial, Phase IV
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fabry Disease / drug therapy*
  • Fabry Disease / enzymology
  • Fabry Disease / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Isoenzymes / immunology
  • Isoenzymes / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trihexosylceramides / blood
  • Trihexosylceramides / metabolism
  • alpha-Galactosidase / immunology
  • alpha-Galactosidase / therapeutic use*


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Isoenzymes
  • Trihexosylceramides
  • globotriaosylceramide
  • alpha-Galactosidase
  • agalsidase beta