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FDA Approves First Gene Therapy for Children with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Lenmeldy (atidarsagene autotemcel), the first FDA-approved gene therapy indicated for the treatment of children with pre-symptomatic late infantile, pre-symptomatic early juvenile or early symptomatic early juvenile metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD).

Metachromatic leukodystrophy is a debilitating, rare genetic disease affecting the brain and nervous system. It is caused by a deficiency of an enzyme called arylsulfatase A (ARSA), leading to a buildup of sulfatides (fatty substances) in the cells. This buildup causes damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, manifesting with loss of motor and cognitive function and early death. It is estimated that MLD affects one in every 40,000 individuals in the United States. There is no cure for MLD, and treatment typically focuses on supportive care and symptom management.

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