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August 3, 2022 – The National MPS Society announces that Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has approved adding MPS II as a condition to the recommended uniform screening panel (RUSP) for newborns. This long-awaited acceptance follows the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children’s (ACHDNC) approval to move the nomination forward to DHHS after a considerable evidence review. Becerra stated:
“After considering the utility of current screening technologies, treatment for MPS II, and the impact on public health systems, I accept the Committee’s recommendation to expand the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel to include the addition of MPS II.”
Conditions listed on the RUSP are provided to individual states as a recommendation for adoption for newborn screening.
This nomination, led by National MPS Society President/CEO Terri Klein and Chief Scientific Officer Matthew Ellinwood, was the product of years of work and collaboration, publications, and a community with a purpose. Klein shares:
“This is a momentous occasion for the MPS II Patient Community. Today, we can begin identifying newborns with MPS II, Hunter Syndrome. I am grateful to DHHS for expanding the RUSP and recognize this will improve the lives of newborns and infants across our country.
Screening newborns for MPS II will provide equitable access to immediate, life-saving therapies. Equitable access will provide testing to everyone, including traditionally under-served communities. Since enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) has been available for our boys, we have witnessed increased quality and length of life and an opportunity for young men to thrive in the world.
Now, early access will erase many of the debilitating manifestations of this disease. Newborns treated with ERT will have access to eventual therapies that address cognitive decline that are being developed and in clinical trials today.”
We would like to extend thanks to the ACHDNC for their newborn screening review. We also recognize and appreciate the families and individuals with MPS II who shared their stories and experiences and the thousands of signatories who contributed to the letter of support provided to the ACHDNC.
MPS II is the second MPS disorder to be included on the RUSP. MPS I was added by DHHS in 2016. Today, 30 states screen for MPS I. Our efforts to add newborn screening for all MPS diseases remain at the forefront of our work. With MPS I and MPS II now on the RUSP, the Society will submit a request for MPS VII, Sly Syndrome, in the coming months. We are investigating paths forward to present requests for MPS III, IVA, and VI and continue to prioritize this work, recognizing this as an effort that supports preservation of physical and cognitive functioning for babies diagnosed and directly saves lives.
To access the letter from the Department of Health and Human Services, please click here.
The Assistance Fund, an independent charitable patient assistance foundation that helps patients and families facing high medical out-of-pocket costs, has launched a financial support initiative for MPS VII patients and their families. The program offers funds that can be used for copayments, health insurance premiums and incidental medical expenses.
“Individuals with MPS VII face a lifetime of medical interventions to improve their quality of life and slow the progression of the disease,” said Terri Klein, interim CEO and director of development and operations at the National MPS Society. “Treatment is vital to help prevent irreversible organ and tissue damage, but the high costs associated with care can make it out of reach for many families. With support from The Assistance Fund, more patients with MPS VII will undergo the treatment regimens that can best preserve their health.”
Individuals interested in learning more or determining their eligibility for assistance should visit tafcares.org or call (855) 514-5111 to speak with a patient advocate.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Mepsevii (vestronidase alfa-vjbk) to treat pediatric and adult patients with MPS VII, Sly syndrome.
The safety and efficacy of Mepsevii, developed by Ultragenyx, were established in clinical trial and were tested on 23 patients ranging from 5 months to 25 years of age. Patients received treatment with Mepsevii at doses up to 4 mg/kg once every two weeks for up to 164 weeks.
Patients were given a six-minute walk test to measure efficacy, and after 24 weeks of treatment, subjects on the treatment regimen improved by about 60 feet. After 120 weeks, there was improvement in three patients and stabilization in the others. Two patients in the Mepsevii development program experienced marked improvement in pulmonary function. Overall, the results observed would not have been anticipated in the absence of treatment. The effect of Mepsevii on the central nervous system manifestations of MPS VII has not been determined.
The FDA granted this application Fast Track designation, which seeks to expedite the development and review of drugs that are intended to treat serious conditions where initial evidence showed the potential to address an unmet medical need. Mepsevii also received Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.
For more information, please visit Ultragenyx’s website.
Sangamo Therapeutics treated its first patient in the Phase 1/2 clinical trial (“the CHAMPIONS study“) evaluating SB-913, an investigational in vivo genome editing therapy for people with MPS II, Hunter syndrome.
Sangamo aims to treat MPS II by using genome editing to insert a corrective gene into a precise location in the DNA of liver cells with the goal of enabling a patient’s liver to produce a lifelong and stable supply of an enzyme he or she currently lacks.
“Even with regular infusions of ERT, which has markedly improved functional health outcomes, patients endure progressive damage to heart, bones and lungs. Many patients with MPS II die of airway obstruction, upper respiratory infection or heart failure before they reach the age of 20,” said Paul Harmatz, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist and a principal investigator for the CHAMPIONS study at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, where the first subject in the study was treated.
For more information, visit Sangamo’s website.