Biomarker Validation for Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C: Safety and Efficacy of N-Acetyl Cysteine
- Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a genetic disorder that results in progressive loss of nervous system function by affecting the membranes of nerve cells. There is no known cure for NPC.
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to use either orally or IV for the treatment of acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning or as an aerosol to reduce the stickiness of mucous in patients with cystic fibrosis. In the body, NAC is converted to an amino acid called cysteine, which cells can convert to a chemical called glutathione. Glutathione is important in helping cells deal with oxidative stress. Based on a number of experiments in cells, mice and patients with NPC, we believe that oxidative stress is increased in NPC. If we can increase glutathione levels, we may be able to decrease the oxidative stress.
- To test the safety and effectiveness of N-acetyl cysteine to treat Niemann-Pick disease (type C).
- Individuals at least 1 year of age who have been diagnosed with NPC.
- Patients entering this study will be seen at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center four times during the 20 weeks of the study. These admissions will occur at the start of the study and at weeks 8, 12, and 20. The first NIH visit will last 2 days, and the other visits will last 1 day.
- Patients will participate in a two-stage study: a period of 8 weeks receiving NAC and a second period of 8 weeks when receiving a placebo (a pill without NAC). Every patient participating in this study will receive NAC during one of the two time periods.
- The two treatment periods will be separated by a wash-out period, 4 weeks when patients will receive neither NAC nor placebo. Patients will also have a 4-week wash-out period at the beginning of the study. Most physician-prescribed medications, such as seizure medications, will be allowed.
- During each visit, examinations, procedures, and tests will be done, including blood and urine samples.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Biomarker Validation for Niemann-Pick Disease, Type C: Safety and Efficacy of N-Acetyl Cysteine|
- Oxysterol Levels [ Time Frame: Six months ]
|Study Start Date:||August 2009|
|Study Completion Date:||November 2010|
|Primary Completion Date:||November 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Drug: N-Acetyl Cysteine
Niemann-Pick Disease, type C (NPC) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease with progressive neurodegeneration. It is characterized by intracellular accumulation of cholesterol and glycosphingolipids. The age of onset is variable with cases manifesting from infancy to adulthood. Classically, initial neurological symptoms are observed in early to late childhood. Symptoms and signs of NPC include prolonged neonatal jaundice, splenomegaly, and various neurological manifestations, especially ataxia, dysmetria, dysarthria, vertical supranuclear gaze palsy and cognitive decline. Currently there are no approved therapies for NPC. A recent controlled study and a series of case reports suggest some efficacy for miglustat. Miglustat inhibits the biosynthesis of glycosphingolipids. The pathophysiological processes contributing to neurodegeneration in NPC have been intensively studied in NPC mouse models. Potential pathological processes include toxic effects of cholesterol or glycosphingolipid accumulation, deficient oxysterol production, peroxisomal dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, perturbed intracellular calcium homeostasis, inflammation, induction of apoptosis, deficient neurosteroid synthesis, and increased oxidative stress. The degree to which each of these pathological processes contributes to the pathology of NPC is not known; however, the multiple processes involved suggest that combinatorial therapy addressing various aspects of this disorder will be necessary. A major impediment to the development of clinical trials for NPC has been the prior lack of outcome measures. Identifying biomarkers was a major goal of our NPC natural history trial (06-CH-0186). We now have identified multiple biochemical abnormalities in our cohort of patients that may prove useful as biomarkers in a therapeutic trial. The next step is to attempt to validate these potential biomarkers in a therapeutic trial. Thus in this protocol we plan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of N-acetylcysteine to improve a group of biomarkers related to increased oxidative stress.
The goals of this protocol are:
- To validate the use of biomarkers in a therapeutic trial for NPC.
- To evaluate the safety of N-acetylcysteine in NPC patients.
- To evaluate the efficacy of N-acetylcysteine to improve biomarkers associated with increased oxidative stress in NPC patients.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00975689
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|
|Principal Investigator:||Forbes D Porter, M.D.||Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)|