With the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Sanofi SA’s drug Cerdelga to treat patients with Type I Gaucher’s disease, the share price of Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc. plummeted to its lowest point in five years. Cerdelga (eliglustat) was developed by Sanofi’s Genzyme unit and offers the first oral first-line treatment for the disease.
Cerdelga is expected to become the market leader for Gaucher’s disease based on the convenience of a twice-daily oral dosage. Genzyme’s current treatment, as well as the therapies offered by both Pfizer/Protalix – Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa) – and Shire Pharmaceuticals – Vpriv (velaglucerase alfa) – are administered intravenously.
Gaucher’s disease is a genetic disease that results in deficient levels of an enzyme needed to break down specific fats. This leads to accumulation of fatty substances in cells and organs, particularly liver and spleen.
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