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A novel Blind Start study design to investigate vestronidase alfa for mucopolysaccharidosis VII, an ultra-rare genetic disease.

Mol Genet Metab; 123(4): 488-494, 2018 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29478819


Drug development for ultra-rare diseases is challenging because small sample sizes and heterogeneous study populations hamper the ability of randomized, placebo-controlled trials with a single primary endpoint to demonstrate valid treatment effects.


To overcome these challenges, a novel Blind Start design was utilized in a study of vestronidase alfa in mucopolysaccharidosis VII (Sly syndrome), an ultra-rare lysosomal disease, that demonstrates the strengths of this approach in a challenging drug-development setting. Twelve subjects were randomized to 1 of 4 blinded groups, each crossing over to active treatment in a blinded fashion at different timepoints with efficacy analysis comparing the last assessment before cross over to after 24 weeks of treatment.Study assessments included: Percentage change from baseline in urinary GAG (uGAG); a Multi-Domain Responder Index (MDRI) using prespecified minimal important differences (6-Minute Walk Test, Forced Vital Capacity, shoulder flexion, visual acuity, and Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency); fatigue as assessed by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ Multidimensional Fatigue Scale; and safety.


Vestronidase alfa treatment for 24 weeks significantly reduced uGAG excretion (dermatan sulfate: 64.8%, p < 0.0001). Most subjects (10/12) had a clinically meaningful improvement in at least one MDRI domain with an overall mean change (±SD) of +0.5 (±0.8) at Treatment Week 24 (p = 0.0527). Exposure-adjusted incidence rates of adverse events were similar between groups.


The Blind Start study and MDRI design improve statistical power that enhances detection of a positive treatment effect in this rare heterogeneous disease and could be utilized for other ultra-rare diseases.