Atidarsagene autotemcel for metachromatic leukodystrophy.

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Messina M, Gissen P

Atidarsagene autotemcel for metachromatic leukodystrophy.

Drugs Today (Barc). 2023 Feb;59(2):63-70. doi: 10.1358/dot.2023.59.2.3461911.

PubMed ID
36811406 [ View in PubMed

Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of sphingolipid metabolism, due to a deficiency of the enzyme arylsulfatase A (ARSA). The main clinical signs of the disease are secondary to central and peripheral nervous system demyelination. MLD is subdivided into early- and late-onset subtypes based upon the onset of neurological disease. The early-onset subtype is associated with a more rapid progression of the disease that leads to death within the first decade of life. Until recently, no effective treatment was available for MLD. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents systemically administered enzyme replacement therapy from reaching target cells in MLD. The evidence for the efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is limited to the late-onset MLD subtype. Here, we review the preclinical and clinical studies that facilitated the approval of the ex vivo gene therapy atidarsagene autotemcel for early-onset MLD by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in December 2020. This approach was studied in an animal model first and then in a clinical trial, eventually proving its efficacy in preventing disease manifestations in presymptomatic patients and stabilizing its progression in paucisymptomatic subjects. This new therapeutic consists of patients' CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) transduced with a lentiviral vector encoding functional ARSA cDNA. The gene-corrected cells get reinfused into the patients after a cycle of chemotherapy conditioning.

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