Background: The mainstay of treatment for Gaucher's disease type 1 is alternate-week infusion of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). We investigated whether patients stable on such treatment would remain so after switching to oral eliglustat, a selective inhibitor of glucosylceramide synthase.
Methods: In this phase 3, randomised, multinational, open-label, non-inferiority trial, we enrolled adults (aged ≥18 years) who had received ERT for 3 years or more for Gaucher's disease. Patients were randomly allocated 2:1 at 39 clinics (stratified by ERT dose; block sizes of four; computer-generated centrally) to receive either oral eliglustat or imiglucerase infusions for 12 months. Participants and investigators were aware of treatment assignment, but the central reader who assessed organ volumes was masked. The composite primary efficacy endpoint was percentage of patients whose haematological variables and organ volumes remained stable for 12 months (ie, haemoglobin decrease not more than 15 g/L, platelet count decrease not more than 25%, spleen volume increase not more than 25%, and liver volume increase not more than 20%, in multiples of normal from baseline). The non-inferiority margin was 25% for eliglustat relative to imiglucerase, assessed in all patients who completed 12 months of treatment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00943111, and EudraCT, number 2008-005223-28.
Findings: Between Sept 15, 2009, and Nov 9, 2011, we randomly allocated 106 (66%) patients to eliglustat and 54 (34%) to imiglucerase. In the per-protocol population, 84 (85%) of 99 patients who completed eliglustat treatment and 44 (94%) of 47 patients who completed imiglucerase treatment met the composite primary endpoint (between-group difference -8·8%; 95% CI -17·6 to 4·2). The lower bound of the 95% CI of -17·6% was within the prespecified threshold for non-inferiority. Dropouts occurred due to palpitations (one patient on eliglustat), myocardial infarction (one patient on eliglustat), and psychotic disorder (one patient on imiglucerase). No deaths occurred. 97 (92%) of 106 patients in the eliglustat group had treatment-emergent adverse events, as did 42 (79%) of 53 in the imiglucerase group (mostly mild or moderate in severity).
Interpretation: Oral eliglustat maintained haematological and organ volume stability in adults with Gaucher's disease type 1 already controlled by intravenous ERT and could be a useful therapeutic option.
Funding: Genzyme, a Sanofi company.
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