The role of sebelipase alfa in the treatment of lysosomal acid lipase deficiency

Angelika L. Erwin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LALD) is a lysosomal storage disorder (LSD) characterized either by infantile onset with fulminant clinical course and very poor prognosis or childhood/adult-onset disease with an attenuated phenotype. The disorder is often misdiagnosed or remains undiagnosed in children and adults due to a rather unspecific clinical presentation with dyslipidemia and steatohepatitis. Until recently, no good treatment options were available for LALD. Despite supportive and symptomatic therapies, death occurred before 1 year of age in patients with infantile-onset disease and patients with childhood/adult-onset LALD suffered from significant complications, such as liver cirrhosis, requiring liver transplantation and early-onset cardiovascular disease. With the recent approval of sebelipase alfa for clinical use in infantile- as well as childhood/adult-onset LALD, a new treatment era for this disorder has begun. Sebelipase alfa is a recombinant human lysosomal acid lipase (LAL), which is administered via the intravenous route. Clinical trials have shown significant improvement of disease parameters such as liver transaminases, hepatomegaly, and dyslipidemia in childhood/adult-onset LALD patients. Treatment of infants with the severe infantile-onset form of the disease has led to improved survival beyond the age of 1 year, and also showed improvement of hepatic and gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as growth. Overall, sebelipase alfa has a favorable safety profile and promises to be a good long-term treatment option for patients with LALD, with significant reduction of disease burden and increased life expectancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-562
Number of pages10
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Wolman disease
  • cholesteryl ester storage disease
  • hyperlipidemia
  • lysosomal acid lipase deficiency
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • sebelipase alfa


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