News Column

Findings from Yonsei University Yields New Data on Gene Therapy

May 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Gene Therapy Weekly -- Research findings on Biotechnology are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting originating in Inchon, South Korea, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "What is known and objective Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPSs) are a group of rare inherited metabolic diseases caused by genetic defects in the production of lysosomal enzymes. MPSs are clinically heterogeneous and are characterized by progressive deterioration in visceral, skeletal and neurological functions."

The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from Yonsei University, "This article aims to review the classification and pathophysiology of MPSs and discuss current therapies and new targeted agents under development. A Medline search through PubMed was performed for relevant articles and treatment guidelines on MPSs published in English for years 1970 to September of 2013 inclusive. The references listed in the identified articles, prescribing information of the drugs approved for the treatment of MPSs, as well as recent clinical trial information posted on Clinicaltrials.gov website, were reviewed. Until recently, supportive care was the only option available for the management of MPSs. In the early 2000s, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of MPS I, II and VI. Clinical trials of ERT showed substantial improvements in patients' somatic symptoms; however, no benefit was found in the neurological symptoms because the enzymes do not readily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), another potentially curative treatment, is not routinely advocated in clinical practice due to its high risk profile and lack of evidence for efficacy, except in preserving cognition and prolonging survival in young patients with severe MPS I. In recent years, substrate reduction therapy (SRT) and gene therapy have been rapidly gaining greater recognition as potential therapeutic avenues. What is new and conclusion Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is effective for the treatment of many somatic symptoms, particularly walking ability and respiratory function, and remains the mainstay of MPS treatment. The usefulness of HSCT has not been established adequately for most MPSs."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Although still under investigation, SRT and gene therapy are promising MPS treatments that may prevent the neurodegeneration not affected by ERT."

For more information on this research see: Current and potential therapeutic strategies for mucopolysaccharidoses. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 2014;39(3):215-224. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell - www.wiley.com/; Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics - onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2710)

Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting H. Noh, Yonsei University, Yonsei Inst Pharmaceut Sci, Coll Pharm, Inchon 406840, South Korea (see also Biotechnology).

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Biotechnology, Inchon, South Korea, Gene Therapy, Bioengineering, Mucopolysaccharidoses, Lysosomal Storage Diseases, Clinical Trials and Studies, Inborn Errors Carbohydrate Metabolism

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Source: Gene Therapy Weekly