PTC Therapeutics, Inc. announced on May 20th that Upstaza™ (eladocagene exuparvovec; PTC-AADC) received a positive opinion by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Once ratified by the European Commission, Upstaza will be the first approved disease-modifying treatment for aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency for patients 18 months and older and the first marketed gene therapy directly infused into the brain.
We are thrilled with the positive opinion from the CHMP, and are eager to bring Upstaza to patients living with AADC deficiency.Upstaza will be the first marketed gene therapy that is directly administered into the brain, the first gene therapy approved in a major market in several years, the third gene therapy that is on the market now, and only the fourth in vivo gene therapy ever approved. It’s important for the biotech community to have gene therapy products achieving approvals at regulatory bodies, as well as it being an important milestone for PTC that will help us build the gene therapy franchise and grow our revenue base.Stuart W. Peltz, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, PTC Therapeutics
The CHMP opinion is based on the findings of clinical studies conducted in Taiwan. In addition, data from the compassionate use treatment of patients in Europe were included in the application. In the clinical studies, patients went from no display of any motor milestone development to developing clinically meaningful motor skills and neuromuscular function from as early as three months following treatment, with transformational improvements shown to continue up to nine years after treatment.1 Cognitive and communication skills improved in all treated patients.1,2
PTC expects the European Commission to ratify the marketing authorisation for Upstaza under exceptional circumstances in approximately two months. The decision will be applicable to all 27 European Union member states, as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
About Upstaza™ (eladocagene exuparvovec)
Upstaza, formerly PTC-AADC, is a one-time gene replacement therapy for the treatment of AADC deficiency. It is a recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2)-based gene therapy, containing the human DDC gene.1 It is designed to correct the underlying genetic defect, by delivering a functioning DDC gene directly into the putamen, increasing the AADC enzyme and restoring dopamine production.2,3
The efficacy and safety profile of Upstaza has been demonstrated across clinical trials and compassionate use programmes.1 The first patient was dosed more than 10 years ago. In the clinical trials, Upstaza demonstrated transformational neurological improvements, which have continued for up to nine years following treatment. The most common side effects were initial insomnia, irritability and dyskinesia. The full indication proposed by the CHMP for ratification is: Upstaza is indicated for the treatment of patients aged 18 months and older with a clinical, molecular, and genetically confirmed diagnosis of aromatic L‑amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency with a severe phenotype.
Administration of Upstaza occurs through a stereotactic surgical procedure, a minimally invasive neurosurgical procedure used for the treatment of a number of paediatric and adult neurological disorders. The Upstaza administration procedure will be performed by a qualified neurosurgeon in a centre specialised in stereotactic neurosurgery.
1 Tai CH, et al. Long-term efficacy and safety of eladocagene exuparvovec in patients with AADC deficiency. Mol Ther. 2022;30(2):509-518.
2 Chien et al. AGIL-AADC gene therapy results in sustained improvements in motor and developmental milestones through 5 years in children with AADC deficiency. Poster presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Child Neurology Society, Charlotte, NC, USA, Oct 23-26, 2019.
3 Chien YH, et al. Efficacy and safety of AAV2 gene therapy in children with aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency: an open-label, phase 1/2 trial. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2017;1(4):265-273.