Clinical Trial of the Protein Farnesylation Inhibitors Lonafarnib, Pravastatin, and Zoledronic Acid in Children With Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome

Circulation. 2016 Jul 12;134(2):114-25. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.022188.


Background: Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is an extremely rare, fatal, segmental premature aging syndrome caused by a mutation in LMNA yielding the farnesylated aberrant protein progerin. Without progerin-specific treatment, death occurs at an average age of 14.6 years from an accelerated atherosclerosis. A previous single-arm clinical trial demonstrated that the protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor lonafarnib ameliorates some aspects of cardiovascular and bone disease. This present trial sought to further improve disease by additionally inhibiting progerin prenylation.

Methods: Thirty-seven participants with Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome received pravastatin, zoledronic acid, and lonafarnib. This combination therapy was evaluated, in addition to descriptive comparisons with the prior lonafarnib monotherapy trial.

Results: No participants withdrew because of side effects. Primary outcome success was predefined by improved per-patient rate of weight gain or carotid artery echodensity; 71.0% of participants succeeded (P<0.0001). Key cardiovascular and skeletal secondary variables were predefined. Secondary improvements included increased areal (P=0.001) and volumetric (P<0.001-0.006) bone mineral density and 1.5- to 1.8-fold increases in radial bone structure (P<0.001). Median carotid artery wall echodensity and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity demonstrated no significant changes. Percentages of participants with carotid (5% to 50%; P=0.001) and femoral (0% to 12%; P=0.13) artery plaques and extraskeletal calcifications (34.4% to 65.6%; P=0.006) increased. Other than increased bone mineral density, no improvement rates exceeded those of the prior lonafarnib monotherapy treatment trial.

Conclusions: Comparisons with lonafarnib monotherapy treatment reveal additional bone mineral density benefit but likely no added cardiovascular benefit with the addition of pravastatin and zoledronic acid.

Clinical trial registration: URL: Unique identifiers: NCT00879034 and NCT00916747.

Keywords: aging; atherosclerosis; progeria.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diphosphonates / adverse effects
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / adverse effects
  • Imidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Piperidines / adverse effects
  • Piperidines / pharmacokinetics
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Pravastatin / adverse effects
  • Pravastatin / therapeutic use*
  • Progeria / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protein Prenylation / drug effects
  • Pyridines / adverse effects
  • Pyridines / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Zoledronic Acid


  • Diphosphonates
  • Imidazoles
  • Piperidines
  • Pyridines
  • Zoledronic Acid
  • lonafarnib
  • Pravastatin

Associated data