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Clinical potential of eliglustat tartrate in the treatment of type 1 Gaucher disease

Authors Kaplan P

Received 5 November 2013

Accepted for publication 9 January 2014

Published 14 May 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 1—8

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRED.S36669

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Paige Kaplan

Lysosomal Disorders Center, Section of Metabolic Diseases, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract: Nonneuropathic type 1 Gaucher disease is an autosomal recessive inherited disease caused by the deficiency or absence of beta glucocerebrosidase (beta glucosidase). The highest prevalence of type 1 is in Ashkenazi Jews, but it affects all ethnic groups. It manifests at any age but is seen predominantly in the first two decades. The phenotype is characterized by painless splenomegaly and secondary hypersplenism (low hemoglobin concentration and low platelet and white blood cell counts). Symptoms and signs include splenomegaly; chronic fatigue, frequent nose bleeds, prolonged bleeding, and/or bruising; hepatomegaly; bone pain, bone destruction and low bone density; and poor growth in childhood and delayed pubertal development. Current treatment with intravenous enzyme replacement has been generally successful. However, oral treatments have been developed because enzyme replacement is time-consuming and invasive, and intravenous infusions are not universally available for patients who live far from medical centers or home infusion nurses. Furthermore, it may become difficult to access veins after repeated infusions. Orally administered substrate reduction is a newer treatment approach. The aim is to limit the synthesis of the substrate, glucosylceramide. The residual intrinsic enzyme, acting alone or with recombinant enzyme, can then completely catabolize the smaller amounts of glucosylceramide that are transported into lysosomes. Eliglustat tartrate is a new specific inhibitor of glucosylceramide synthase. Phase III trials in humans have been completed. Eliglustat tartrate has been shown to be efficacious and safe in adult humans. The results are as good or better compared with intravenous replacement with regard to reductions in spleen and liver enlargement and improvements in hemoglobin concentrations, platelet counts, and bone density, as well as decreases in biomarkers of Gaucher disease activity. Few adverse events, none of which was serious, have been reported. Eliglustat tartrate has the clinical potential to enable a larger number of patients with type 1 Gaucher disease to be treated successfully.

Keywords: type 1 Gaucher disease, substrate reduction therapy, eliglustat tartrate

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