FDA approves first treatment for a form of Batten disease

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Brineura as a treatment for a specific form of Batten disease.

Brineura is the first FDA-approved treatment to slow loss of walking ability (ambulation) in symptomatic paediatric patients 3 years of age and older with late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 (CLN2), also known as tripeptidyl peptidase-1 (TPP1) deficiency.

Julie Beitz, M.D., Director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said: “Approving the first drug for the treatment of this form of Batten disease is an important advance for patients suffering with this condition.”

CLN2 disease is one of a group of disorders known as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), collectively referred to as Batten disease.

It is a rare inherited disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. In the late infantile form of the disease, signs and symptoms typically begin between ages 2 and 4. The initial symptoms usually include language delay, recurrent seizures (epilepsy) and difficulty coordinating movements (ataxia).

Affected children also develop muscle twitches (myoclonus) and vision loss. CLN2 disease affects essential motor skills, such as sitting and walking. Individuals with this condition often require the use of a wheelchair by late childhood and typically do not survive past their teens.

Batten disease is relatively rare, occurring in an estimated two to four of every 100,000 live births in the United States.

Brineura is an enzyme replacement therapy. Its active ingredient (cerliponase alfa) is a recombinant form of human TPP1, the enzyme deficient in patients with CLN2 disease. Brineura is administered into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by infusion via a specific surgically implanted reservoir and catheter in the head (intraventricular access device).

The efficacy of Brineura was established in a non-randomized, single-arm dose escalation clinical study in 22 symptomatic pediatric patients with CLN2 disease and compared to 42 untreated patients with CLN2 disease from a natural history cohort (an independent historical control group) who were at least 3 years old and had motor or language symptoms.

The safety of Brineura was evaluated in 24 patients with CLN2 disease aged 3 to 8 years who received at least one dose of Brineura in clinical studies. The safety and effectiveness of Brineura have not been established in patients less than 3 years of age.

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