Glybera is the first gene therapy approved in the Western world.
Glybera is a gene therapy that is designed to restore the LPL enzyme activity required to enable the processing, or clearance, of fat-carrying chylomicron particles formed in the intestine after a fat-containing meal. The product consists of an engineered copy of the human LPL gene packaged with a tissue-specific promoter in a non-replicating AAV1 vector, which has a particular affinity for muscle cells. In order to improve activity, uniQure uses a naturally occurring variant of the LPL gene that has higher enzyme activity than the normal version of the gene that encodes the protein. The Company produces Glybera using its insect cell-based manufacturing process. Clinicians administer Glybera in a one-time series of up to 60 intramuscular injections in the legs. The patient is administered spinal anesthesia or deep sedation during the procedure. In addition, an immunosuppressive regimen is recommended from three days prior to and for 12 weeks following Glybera administration.
In October 2012, the European Commission granted marketing authorization for Glybera® under exceptional circumstances as a treatment for adult patients diagnosed with familial lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPLD) confirmed by genetic testing, and suffering from severe or multiple pancreatitis attacks despite dietary fat restrictions.