Conference Coverage

Cerliponase alfa continues to impress for CLN2 disease



– Biweekly cerliponase alfa continued to show durable and clinically important therapeutic benefit in children with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 (CLN2) disease at the 3-year mark in an ongoing international study, Marina Trivisano, MD, reported at the International Epilepsy Congress.

Cerliponase alfa, approved under the trade name Brineura by the Food and Drug Administration and European Commission, is a recombinant human tripeptidyl peptidase 1 designed as enzyme replacement therapy delivered by a surgically implanted intraventricular infusion device in children with this rare lysosomal storage disease, a form of Batten disease, she explained at the congress sponsored by the International League Against Epilepsy.

When both healthy parents carry one defective gene, each of their children has a one in four chance of inheriting this devastating disease that causes rapidly progressive dementia. CLN2 disease typically reveals itself when a child reaches about 3 years of age, with seizures, language delay, or loss of acquired language being the most common first indications.

Of 23 patients enrolled in the open-label study, 21 remained participants at 3 years of follow-up. The two dropouts weren’t caused by treatment-related adverse events, but rather by the formidable logistic challenges posed because the treatment – 300 mg of cerliponase alfa delivered by intraventricular infusion over a 4-hour period every 2 weeks – was available only at five medical centers located in Rome; London; New York; Hamburg, Germany; and Columbus, Ohio.

At 3 years of follow-up, 83% of patients met the primary study endpoint, defined as the absence of a 2-point or greater decline in the motor-language score on the 0-6 CLN2 Clinical Rating Scale. This was a success rate 12 times greater than in 42 historical controls. Indeed, at 3 years the cerliponase alfa–treated patients had an average CLN2 Clinical Rating Scale motor-language score 3.8 points better than the historical controls, reported Dr. Trivisano, a pediatric neurologist at Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome.

Side effects included several cases of device failure, infection, and hypersensitivity reactions.

In an earlier report based upon 96 weeks of follow-up, the mean rate of decline in the motor-language score was 0.27 points per 48 weeks in treated patients, compared with 2.12 points in the historical controls (N Engl J Med. 2018 May 17;378[20]:1898-1907).

The study was funded by BioMarin Pharmaceutical, which markets Brineura. Dr. Trivisano was a subinvestigator in the trial.

SOURCE: Trivisano M et al. IEC 2019, Abstract P333.

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