Yee KS, Lewis S, Evans E, Romano (DeMuro) C, Alexanderian D. Caregiver experiences and observations of intrathecal idursulfase-IT treatment in a phase 2/3 trial in pediatric patients with neuronopathic mucopolysaccharidosis II. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2024 Mar 10;19(1):100. doi: 10.1186/s13023-024-03034-y

BACKGROUND: Approximately two-thirds of patients with mucopolysaccharidosis II (MPS II) have a severe, neuronopathic phenotype, characterized by somatic manifestations, cognitive impairment, and behavioral issues. Current standard of care for the treatment of MPS II is enzyme replacement therapy with intravenous recombinant human iduronate-2-sulfatase (idursulfase). To target cognitive manifestations of MPS II, idursulfase has been formulated for intrathecal administration into the cerebrospinal fluid (idursulfase-IT). In accordance with recommendations for patient-focused drug development, semi-structured interviews were conducted to assess caregiver experiences and observations in an idursulfase-IT, 52-week phase 2/3 trial, in addition to intravenous idursulfase in pediatric patients with neuronopathic MPS II, or a substudy which enrolled patients younger than 3 years old, all of whom received idursulfase-IT.

RESULTS: Interviews were conducted with 46 caregivers who provided care for 50 children (mean [range] age 7.9 [3–17] years at interview); six of these children had participated in the substudy. Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained demonstrating the burden of MPS II experienced by caregivers and their families. Following participation in the trials, 39 (78%) of the children were reported by their caregivers to have experienced improvements in the symptoms and impact of disease. Of those with improvements, 37 (95%) experienced cognitive improvements and 26 (67%) experienced emotional/behavioral improvements. Overall, 43 children (86%) were rated by caregivers as having moderate or severe symptoms before the trials; after the trials, 28 children (56%) were considered to have mild or no symptoms. For the six children who participated in the substudy, these proportions were 83% and 100%, respectively. Caregivers’ qualitative descriptions of trial experiences suggested improvements in children’s verbal and non-verbal functioning and spatial and motor skills, as well as a positive impact on family life.

CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed caregiver-reported improvements in children’s MPS II symptoms and the impact of the disease on both patients and their families. There was a trend for cognitive improvement and a reduction in severity of MPS II symptoms. After many years of extensive review and regulatory discussions of idursulfase-IT, the clinical trial data were found to be insufficient to meet the evidentiary standard to support regulatory filings.

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