Background: Glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA) mutations influence risk and prognosis of Parkinson's disease (PD), possibly through accumulation of glycosphingolipids, including glucosylceramide (GL-1). Venglustat is a novel, brain penetrant glucosylceramide synthase inhibitor.
Objective: Evaluate venglustat pharmacology, safety, and tolerability in patients with PD and GBA mutations (GBA-PD).
Methods: Part 1 of the phase 2 MOVES-PD trial (NCT02906020) was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation study performed in six countries. Eligible participants included Japanese and non-Japanese patients aged 18-80 years with PD diagnosis and heterozygous GBA mutation. Participants were randomized to three doses of once-daily oral venglustat or placebo and were followed up to 36 weeks (Japanese participants: 52 weeks). Primary endpoint was venglustat safety and tolerability versus placebo. Secondary and exploratory endpoints included venglustat pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
Results: Participants (N = 29) received venglustat (Japanese, n = 9; non-Japanese, n = 13) or placebo (n = 3; n = 4). Eight (89%) Japanese and 12 (92%) non-Japanese venglustat-treated participants experienced at least one adverse event (AE) versus two (67%) and four (100%) participants from the respective placebo groups. Most AEs were mild or moderate; no serious AEs or deaths occurred. Two venglustat-treated non-Japanese participants discontinued due to AEs (confusional state and panic attack). Over 4 weeks, venglustat exposure in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) increased, and GL-1 levels in plasma and CSF decreased, both in a dose-dependent manner. At the highest dose, CSF GL-1 decreased by 72.0% in Japanese and 74.3% in non-Japanese participants.
Conclusion: Venglustat showed favorable safety and tolerability in MOVES-PD Part 1 and target engagement was achieved in CSF.
Keywords: GBA-PD; MOVES-PD; Parkinson’s disease; Venglustat (GZ/SAR402671); glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA); glucosylceramide (GL-1); glucosylceramide synthase (GCS) inhibition.