FDA OKs new drug for Fabry disease


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved pegunigalsidase alfa (Elfabrio, Chiesi Global Rare Diseases/Protalix BioTherapeutics), an enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) to treat adults with confirmed Fabry disease.

Fabry disease is a rare inherited X-linked lysosomal disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme alpha-galactosidase A (GLA), which leads to the buildup of globotriaosylceramide (GL-3) in blood vessels, kidneys, the heart, nerves, and other organs, increasing the risk for kidney failure, myocardial infarction, stroke, and other problems.

Elfabrio delivers a functional version of GLA. It’s given by intravenous infusion every 2 weeks.

Evidence for safety, tolerability, and efficacy of Elfabrio stems from a comprehensive clinical program in more than 140 patients with up to 7.5 years of follow up treatment.

It has been studied in both ERT-naïve and ERT-experienced patients. In one head-to-head trial, Elfabrio was non-inferior in safety and efficacy to agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme, Sanofi Genzyme), the companies said in a press statement announcing approval.

“The totality of clinical data suggests that Elfabrio has the potential to be a long-lasting therapy,” Dror Bashan, president and CEO of Protalix, said in the statement.

Patients treated with Elfabrio have experienced hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis. In clinical trials, 20 (14%) patients treated with Elfabrio experienced hypersensitivity reactions; 4 patients (3%) experienced anaphylaxis reactions that occurred within 5-40 minutes of the start of the initial infusion.

Before administering Elfabrio, pretreatment with antihistamines, antipyretics, and/or corticosteroids should be considered, the label advises.

Patients and caregivers should be informed of the signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity reactions and infusion-associated reactions and instructed to seek medical care immediately if such symptoms occur.

A case of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis with immune depositions in the kidney was reported during clinical trials. Monitoring serum creatinine and urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio is advised. If glomerulonephritis is suspected, treatment should be stopped until a diagnostic evaluation can be conducted.

Full prescribing information is available online.

A version of this article first appeared on Medscape.com.

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