Pilot study of the safety and effect of adalimumab on pain, physical function, and musculoskeletal disease in mucopolysaccharidosis types I and II

Lynda E. Polgreen, Alicia Kunin-Batson, Kyle Rudser, Richard K. Vehe, Jeanine J. Utz, Chester B. Whitley, Patricia Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mucopolysaccharidosis I and II are lysosomal storage disorders that, despite treatment with hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and/or enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), continue to cause significant skeletal abnormalities leading to pain, stiffness, physical dysfunction, and short stature. Tumor necrosis factor – alpha (TNF-α) is elevated in individuals with MPS I and II and associated with pain and physical dysfunction. Therefore, we evaluated the safety and effects of the TNF-α inhibitor adalimumab in patients with MPS I and II in a 32-week, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of adalimumab at a dose of 20 mg (weight 15–<30 kg) or 40 mg (weight ≥ 30 kg) administered subcutaneously every other week or saline placebo for 16 weeks. Participants were evaluated at baseline, week 16, and week 32 with the Children's Health Questionnaire – Parent Form 50 (CHQ-PF50), the Pediatric Pain Questionnaire (PPQ), range-of-motion (ROM) measurements, anthropometry, six-minute walk test (6MWT), hand dynamometer, and laboratory evaluations for safety. The primary outcome was safety and primary efficacy outcome was bodily pain (BP) measured by the CHQ-PF50. Two subjects, one with MPS I and one with MPS II, completed the study. Adalimumab was well tolerated and there were no serious adverse events. Standardized BP scores for age and gender were higher (i.e. less pain) at the end of the treatment versus placebo phase for both subjects. Subject #1 became unblinded during treatment due to skin erythema. Behavior measured by both CHQ-PF50 and parental report improved during treatment compared to placebo in both subjects. ROM improved by > 5° in seven of eight joints in Subject #1 and five of eight joints in Subject #2 (range 7.0° to 52.8°). There was no change in the PPQ, 6MWT, or hand dynamometer. Data from this small pilot study suggest that treatment with adalimumab is safe, tolerable, and may improve ROM, physical function, and possibly pain, in children with MPS I or II. However, additional clinical trials are needed before this therapy should be recommended as part of clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the study participants and parents as well as Nathalia Cressey and Angel (Jun) Zozobrado who made this project possible. The research described was supported by the MPS1 Foundation and the NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR000124. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the MPS1 Foundation, the CTSI or the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors


  • Bone
  • Inflammation
  • Joint
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis


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