A charitable access program for patients with lysosomal storage disorders in underserved communities worldwide

Atul Mehta*, Uma Ramaswami, Joseph Muenzer, Roberto Giugliani, Kurt Ullrich, Tanya Collin-Histed, Zoya Panahloo, Hartmann Wellhoefer, Joel Frader

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are rare genetic disorders, with heterogeneous clinical manifestations and severity. Treatment options, such as enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), substrate replacement therapy, and pharmacological chaperone therapy, are available for several LSDs, including Gaucher disease (GD), Fabry disease (FD), and Hunter syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis type II [MPS II]). However, patients in some countries face challenges accessing treatments owing to limited availability of locally licensed, approved drugs. Methods: The Takeda LSD Charitable access program aims to meet the needs of individuals with GD, FD or MPS II with the greatest overall likelihood of benefit, in selected countries, through donation of ERT to nonprofit organizations, and support for medical capacity-building as well as family support via independent grants. Long-term aims of the program are to establish sustainable healthcare services delivered by local healthcare providers for patients with rare metabolic diseases. Patients receiving treatment through the program are monitored regularly, and their clinical data and progress are reviewed annually by an independent medical expert committee (MEC). The MEC also selects patients for enrollment completely independent from the sponsoring company. Results: As of 31 August, 2019, 199 patients from 13 countries were enrolled in the program; 142 with GD, 41 with MPS II, and 16 with FD. Physicians reported improvements in clinical condition for 147 (95%) of 155 patients with follow-up data at 1 year. Conclusions: The response rate for follow-up data at 1 year was high, with data collected for > 90% of patients who received ERT through the program showing clinical improvements in the majority of patients. These findings suggest that the program can benefit selected patients previously unable to access disease-specific treatments. Further innovative solutions and efforts are needed to address the challenges and unmet needs of patients with LSDs and other rare diseases around the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalOrphanet journal of rare diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Access
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Fabry disease
  • Gaucher disease
  • Humanitarian
  • Hunter syndrome
  • Low/middle income economies
  • Lysosomal storage disorders
  • MPS II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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