Burosumab Therapy in Children with X-Linked Hypophosphatemia

N Engl J Med. 2018 May 24;378(21):1987-1998. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1714641.


Background: X-linked hypophosphatemia is characterized by increased secretion of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), which leads to hypophosphatemia and consequently rickets, osteomalacia, and skeletal deformities. We investigated burosumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets FGF-23, in patients with X-linked hypophosphatemia.

Methods: In an open-label, phase 2 trial, we randomly assigned 52 children with X-linked hypophosphatemia, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive subcutaneous burosumab either every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks; the dose was adjusted to achieve a serum phosphorus level at the low end of the normal range. The primary end point was the change from baseline to weeks 40 and 64 in the Thacher rickets severity total score (ranging from 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating greater disease severity). In addition, the Radiographic Global Impression of Change was used to evaluate rachitic changes from baseline to week 40 and to week 64. Additional end points were changes in pharmacodynamic markers, linear growth, physical ability, and patient-reported outcomes and the incidence of adverse events.

Results: The mean Thacher rickets severity total score decreased from 1.9 at baseline to 0.8 at week 40 with every-2-week dosing and from 1.7 at baseline to 1.1 at week 40 with every-4-week dosing (P<0.001 for both comparisons); these improvements persisted at week 64. The mean serum phosphorus level increased after the first dose in both groups, and more than half the patients in both groups had levels within the normal range (3.2 to 6.1 mg per deciliter [1.0 to 2.0 mmol per liter]) by week 6. Stable serum phosphorus levels were maintained through week 64 with every-2-week dosing. Renal tubular phosphate reabsorption increased from baseline in both groups, with an overall mean increase of 0.98 mg per deciliter (0.32 mmol per liter). The mean dose of burosumab at week 40 was 0.98 mg per kilogram of body weight with every-2-week dosing and 1.50 mg per kilogram with every-4-week dosing. Across both groups, the mean serum alkaline phosphatase level decreased from 459 U per liter at baseline to 369 U per liter at week 64. The mean standing-height z score increased in both groups, with greater improvement seen at all time points with every-2-week dosing (an increase from baseline of 0.19 at week 64) than with every-4-week dosing (an increase from baseline of 0.12 at week 64). Physical ability improved and pain decreased. Nearly all the adverse events were mild or moderate in severity.

Conclusions: In children with X-linked hypophosphatemia, treatment with burosumab improved renal tubular phosphate reabsorption, serum phosphorus levels, linear growth, and physical function and reduced pain and the severity of rickets. (Funded by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical and Kyowa Hakko Kirin; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02163577 ; EudraCT number, 2014-000406-35 ).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Familial Hypophosphatemic Rickets / drug therapy*
  • Familial Hypophosphatemic Rickets / metabolism
  • Familial Hypophosphatemic Rickets / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked / drug therapy*
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked / metabolism
  • Genetic Diseases, X-Linked / physiopathology
  • Growth / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules / metabolism
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Pain Management
  • Phosphorus / blood
  • Radiography
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • FGF23 protein, human
  • Phosphorus
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • burosumab

Associated data

  • EudraCT/2014-000406-35
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02163577