uniQure announced today that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion that recommends marketing authorization of Glybera® (alipogene tiparvovec) as a treatment for lipoprotein
lipase deficiency (LPLD) under exceptional circumstances. LPLD is a very rare, inherited disease. Patients with the disease are unable to handle fat particles in their blood plasma, which leads to recurring severe abdominal pain
The European Commission (EC) generally follows the recommendations of the CHMP. "We expect final approval from the EC within 3 months after the CHMP decision," says Jörn Aldag, CEO of uniQure. "After today's positive recommendation, Glybera is poised to become the first in a class of gene therapy products approved in Europe to treat orphan diseases, rare conditions with a very high unmet medical need." Marketing authorization covers all 27 European Union member states.
Mr. Aldag continued: "Patients with LPLD are afraid of eating a normal meal because it can lead to acute and extremely painful inflammation of the pancreas, often resulting in a visit to intensive care. Now, for the first time, a treatment exists for these patients that not only reduces this risk of getting severely sick, but also has a multi-year beneficial effect after just a single injection. The positive recommendation from the CHMP for Glybera therefore represents a major breakthrough for both LPLD patients and for medicine as a whole. Restoring the body's natural ability to break down fat particles in the blood in order to prevent pancreatitis and excruciating abdominal pain suffered by patients, is what gene therapy is all about: curing disease at the genetic level."