Higher dosing of alglucosidase alfa improves outcomes in children with Pompe disease: a clinical study and review of the literature.



Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with recombinant human acid-α glucosidase (rhGAA) at standard dose of 20 mg/kg every other week is insufficient to halt the long-term progression of myopathy in Pompe disease.


We conducted a retrospective study on infantile-onset Pompe disease (IPD) and late-onset Pompe disease (LOPD) patients with onset before age 5 years, ≥12 months of treatment with standard dose ERT, and rhGAA immunogenic tolerance prior to dose escalation. Long-term follow-up of up to 18 years was obtained. We obtained physical therapy, lingual strength, biochemical, and pulmonary assessments as dose was escalated.


Eleven patients with IPD (n = 7) or LOPD (n = 4) were treated with higher doses of up to 40 mg/kg weekly. There were improvements in gross motor function measure in 9/10 patients, in lingual strength in 6/6 patients, and in pulmonary function in 4/11. Significant reductions in urinary glucose tetrasaccharide, creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase were observed at 40 mg/kg weekly compared with lower doses (p < 0.05). No safety or immunogenicity concerns were observed at higher doses.


Higher rhGAA doses are safe, improve gross motor outcomes, lingual strength, pulmonary function measures, and biochemical markers in early-onset Pompe disease, and should be considered in patients with clinical and functional decline.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Khan, Aleena A, Laura E Case, Mrudu Herbert, Stephanie DeArmey, Harrison Jones, Kelly Crisp, Kanecia Zimmerman, Mai K ElMallah, et al. (2020). Higher dosing of alglucosidase alfa improves outcomes in children with Pompe disease: a clinical study and review of the literature. Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics, 22(5). pp. 898–907. 10.1038/s41436-019-0738-0 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27300.

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Laura Elizabeth Case

Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery

Laura E Case, PT, DPT, MS, PhD, PCS, C/NDT is a board-certified clinical specialist in pediatric physical therapy. She has dedicated her career to teaching, research in childhood-onset neuromusculoskeletal disorders, and to the lifelong treatment of people with childhood-onset neurological and neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, Pompe disease, myelodysplasia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and brachial plexus injury.

She has been involved in numerous clinical trials for the treatment of disorders including Pompe disease and other metabolic disorders, cerebral palsy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and spinal muscular atrophy. Dr. Case has participated in the development of international guidelines for the management of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Pompe disease, and other glycogen storage diseases.

She teaches and consults internationally, has worked on a number of Center for Disease Control (CDC) task forces, has served on numerous committees and task forces in the pediatric section of APTA, served two terms as NC State Representative to the APTA Section on Pediatrics, and is a member of the North American Pompe Registry Board of Advisors.


Harrison N. Jones

Associate Professor of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences

Kanecia Obie Zimmerman

Wilburt C. Davison Distinguished Professor

Mai ElMallah

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Our laboratory focuses on the control of breathing and pulmonary mechanics in murine models of several genetic diseases. These genetic diseases include Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Pompe Disease, ALS, and Spino-cerebellar ataxia Type 7. We also investigate the ability of gene therapy and neuromodulation to treat respiratory insufficiency in neuromuscular diseases. As a clinician-scientist, my goal is to bring therapy from the bench to the bedside and enhance our research at the bench through observations at the bedside.

Our clinical research focus is on the impact of novel therapies on respiratory function in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Pompe Disease. We study the impact of recent therapies on breathing in these disorders and the impact of social determinants of health on clinical outcome measures.


Sarah Phyllis Young

Professor of Pediatrics

As a clinical biochemical geneticist and a director of the Duke Biochemical Genetics laboratory, my research interests are focused on improving laboratory diagnostics for rare inherited disorders of metabolism. I am actively involved in the development of assays using mass spectrometry and other analytical techniques. My current research on biomarkers for lysosomal storage disorders, such as Fabry and Pompe disease and the mucopolysaccharidoses includes monitoring the response to novel therapies in patients. I also have an interest in neurometabolic disorders such as the creatine deficiency syndromes and sulfite oxidase and molybdenum cofactors. These disorders can be diagnosed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric assays that measure biomarkers in urine. Guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency is a disorder that can be detected in the newborn period and is amenable to dietary therapy, and is thus a good candidate for newborn screening.


Priya Sunil Kishnani

Chen Family Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics


A multidisciplinary approach to care of individuals with genetic disorders in conjunction with clinical and bench research that contributes to:
1) An understanding of the natural history and delineation of long term complications of genetic disorders  with a special focus on liver Glycogen storage disorders, lysosomal disorders with a special focus on Pompe disease, Down syndrome and hypophosphatasia
2) ) The development of new therapies such as AAV gene therapy, enzyme therapy, small molecule and other approaches for genetic disorders through translational research

3) The development and execution of large multicenter trials to confirm safety and efficacy of potential therapies
4) Role of antibodies/immune response in patients on therapeutic proteins and AAV gene therapy

. Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD): We are actively following subjects with all types of Glycogen Storage Disease, with particular emphasis on types I, II, III, IV, VI and IX. The goal of the treatment team is to better determine the clinical phenotype and long term complications of these diseases. Attention to disease manifestations observed in adulthood, such as adenomas and risk for HCC, is of paramount importance in monitoring and treating these chronic illnesses. We are establishing clinical algorithms for managing adenomas, and the overall management of these patients including cardiac, bone, muscle and liver issues. A special focus is biomarker discovery, an Omics approach including metabolomics and immune phenotyping. We are working on AAV gene therapy for several hepatic GSDs

.Lysosomal Storage Disease: The Duke Lysosomal Storage Disease (LSD) treatment center follows and treats patients with Pompe, Gaucher, Fabry, Mucopolysaccharidosis, Niemann Pick, LAL-D and other LSD's. The Duke Metabolism Clinical Research Team is exploring many aspects of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), including impact on different systems, differential response, and long term effects. Other symptomatic and treatment interventions for this category of diseases are also being explored in the context of clinical care.

. Pompe Disease: The care team has extensive experience in the care of infants and adults with Pompe disease and was instrumental in conducting clinical trials and the bench to bedside work that led to the 2006 FDA approval of alglucosidase alfa, the first treatment for this devastating disease. We are currently focusing on role of antibodies/immune response on patient outcome and role of immune modulation/immune suppression as an adjunct to ERT. Our team is also working on AAV gene therapy for Pompe disease. A focus is on newborn screening (NBS) and understanding the clinical phenotype and management approaches for babies identified via NBS

.  Hypophosphatasia: We follow a large cohort of patients with HPP. The goal is to understand the features of the disease beyond bone disease, development of biomarkers, role of ERT and immune responses in HPP

. Neuromuscular disorders: We are collaborating with neurologists, cardiologists and neuromuscular physicians to serve as a treatment site for clinical trials in these diseases. We are currently involved in trials of DMD and are working closely on setting up collaborations for studies in SMA.

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