Title

Sapropterin as a Treatment for Autistic Disorder
Sapropterin as a Treatment for Autistic Disorder: A Phase II Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
  • Phase

    Phase 2
  • Study Type

    Interventional
  • Intervention/Treatment

    sapropterin ...
  • Study Participants

    46
This study is intended to provide a definitive test of the hypothesis that elevating sapropterin (tetrahydrobiopterin, a cofactor for several key brain enzymes)concentrations in the CNS will result in measurable improvements in core symptoms of autism in young individuals, under age 6 years. The study will entail a double-blind, placebo-controlled 16-week intervention.
Over the past 20 years, several studies have suggested that sapropterin (tetrahydrobiopterin) might ameliorate core symptoms of autism at least in young (under age 6) subjects. However, those studies had somewhat questionable methodologies, a major one being that the doses of sapropterin used were roughly one tenth that thought to be needed to provide physiologically meaningful increases of sapropterin in the central nervous system (CNS). This study will look at the impact of a sustained exposure to this higher dose in well-diagnosed young children with autism.
Study Started
Mar 31
2009
Primary Completion
Aug 31
2011
Study Completion
Oct 31
2011
Results Posted
Feb 28
2014
Estimate
Last Update
May 01
2018

Drug sapropterin

Patients will receive sapropterin 20 mg per kilogram per day for 16 weeks

  • Other names: Kuvan, tetrahydrobiopterin

Drug Placebo

Patients will receive a placebo identical in form and dosage to the active drug daily for 16 weeks.

  • Other names: sugar pill

sapropterin, 100 mg capsules Experimental

Sapropterin was supplied as a 100 mg tablet and dosage was based on 20 mg/kg/d, rounding to the nearest 100 mg. Most subjects crushed the tablets and administered it in liquid or a food to mask the taste. Subjects took the same dose daily for 16 weeks.

Placebo, matching active drug Placebo Comparator

The placebo was supplied as a 100 mg tablet, and dosage was based on 20 mg/kg/d, rounding to the nearest 100 mg. Most subjects crushed the tablets and administered it in liquid or a food to mask the taste. Subjects took the same dose daily for 16 weeks.

Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

Parents sign informed consent
Child meets criteria for autistic disorder (based on score on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), given by a certified administrator, research reliable)
Child has a Developmental Quotient (DQ) ≥ 50 (Vineland Adaptive Scales, Interview Edition)
Parents agree to delay initiation of other treatments during double-blind trial

Exclusion Criteria:

Child has had seizures in past 6 months or a change in seizure medications in past 4 weeks.
Child has > 18 points on subscale of (Autism Behavior Checklist) ABC-I
Child is taking any psychoactive medication other than supplements, anticonvulsants, or soporifics (melatonin, diphenhydramine)
Child has had any change in standing medications in the past 4 weeks.
Child has known genetic disorders
Child has known severe neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy

Summary

Sapropterin

Placebo

All Events

Event Type Organ System Event Term Sapropterin Placebo

Clinical Global Impression -- Severity (CGI-S) Scale

The CGI-S assessed the number of participants with improved severity illness on the CGI-S scale. This is a summary judgment made by a trained clinician of symptom severity. It is a 7-point scale that rates the severity of the patient's illness at time of assessment with 1 - normal, not at all, to 7 - extremely ill. Mixed-effects regression models via SPSS MIXED determined the main effects attributed to differences by group (BH4 and placebo), time (treated as categorical at levels baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks) and the group-by-time interaction. We used random intercept and trend modeling that accounts for each individual's initial level of symptom severity/functioning and rate of change/time

Sapropterin

3.0
participants

Placebo

1.0
participants

Clinical Global Impression -- Improvement (CGI-I) Scale

The CGI-I assessed the number of participants showing much or very much improvement on the CGI-I scale. This is a summary judgment made by a trained clinician based on observed and reported behaviors of the child compared to baseline. It is a 7-point scale from very much worse (1) to very much improved (7). Chi-square analyses were used to assess change in CHI-I scores (by group, post-test). Mixed-effects regression models via SPSS MIXED determined the main effects attributed to differences by group (BH4 and placebo), time (treated as categorical at levels baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks) and the group-by-time interaction. We used random intercept and trend modeling that accounts for each individual's initial level of symptom severity/functioning and rate of change/time

Sapropterin

5.0
participants

Placebo

3.0
participants

Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale-II.

the Vineland-2 is a semi-structured interview designed to assess communicatino, daily living, socialization and motor skills. The Vineland-2 is comprised of a total Adaptive Composite scale; we chose to use 10 subscales that specifically address functional domains relevant for a young ASD sample - Receptive Communication, Expressive Communication, Personal Daily Living Skills, Domestic Daily Living Skills, Community Daily Living Skills, Interpersonal Relations, Play Skills, Coping Skills, Gross Motor Skills, Fine Motor Skills. Scales generate raw or sum, V-, and age-equivalent scores; raw scores were selected for use in the study. Raw score ranges from 0 to 108 depending on the scale. Total raw scale range is from 0 to 766. Subscale scores are averaged to create the total adaptive behavior composite. Higher subscale scores indicate more skills. Difference between baseline and week 16 was used as an indicator of change.

Sapropterin

344.76
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 50.0

Placebo

294.9
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 70.1

Children's Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (C-YBOCS)

The C-YBOCS is a scale is designed to rate the severity of obsessive and compulsive symptoms in children and adolescents, ages 6 to 17 years. It can be administered by a clinican or trained interviewer in a semi-structured fashion. In general, the ratings depend on the child's and parent's report; however, the final rating is based on the clinical judgement of the interviewer. Rate the characteristics of each item over the prior week up until, and including, the time of the interview. Scores should reflect the average of each item for the entire week, unless otherwise specified.

Sapropterin, 100 mg Capsules

Placebo, Matching Active Drug

Connor's Preschool ADHD Questionnaire

Conners Early Childhood, addresses child behavior for ages 2 years to 6 years with a variety of scales, including an ADHD subdomain.

Sapropterin

Placebo

Adverse Events Scale

This was not a standardized scale but a set of questions that was asked of each family - some standard and others open ended.

Sapropterin

Placebo

Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) - Inappropriate Speech

Subscale assessing echolalia & other odd speech. Higher subscale scores indicate more symptoms. 4 items comprise the subscale, with range of scores from 0-4. Total score range on this subscale is 0 to 16. Scores are averaged to compute overall score. Difference in scores between baseline and week 16 were used as indicator of change.

Sapropterin

2.6
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 1.9

Placebo

3.9
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 3.6

Parent Global Assessment (PGA) Scale

This is a measure where parents rate their impression of their child's improvement, in a global manner.

Sapropterin

Placebo

Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS)

The SRS is a 65-item scale used to measure the severity of symptoms in ASD as they occur in natural social settings. The SRS is comprised of 1 Total scale and 5 subscales that generate raw scores that can be converted to standard T-scores (with mean of 50 and standard deviation of 10) for gender and rater type; standard scores were selected for use in this study. A total T-score of 76 or higher is considered severe and strongly associated with a clinical diagnosis of autistic disorder. A t-score of 60-75 is in the mild to moderate range and considered typical for children with mild or 'high-functioning' ASD, while a T-score of 59 or less suggests an absence of ASD symptoms. A total raw score of >75 were associated with a sensitivity value of .85 and a specificity value of .75 for ASD. Difference in scores between baseline and week 16 were used as an indicator of change.

Sapropterin

76.7
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 10.9

Placebo

83.2
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 10.4

Preschool Language Scale-Fourth Edition (PLS-4). Assesses Expressive and Receptive Language Skills in Ages Birth Through 6 Years, 11 Months.

Measures expressive & receptive language and total scores in ages birth to 6 years 11 months. The scales generate raw, standard, and age-equivalent scores; raw scores for the total scale were selected for use in this study. Total is average of subscales. Minimum raw score = 0, maximum = 130. Higher scores indicate better language abilities. Mixed-effects regression models via SPSS MIXED determined the main effects attributed to differences by group (BH4 and placebo), time (treated as categorical at levels baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks) and the group-by-time interaction. For the outcome effect, the difference between baseline and 16 weeks was determined as an indicator for change.

Sapropterin

84.0
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 29

Placebo

60.0
units on a scale (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 25

Total

46
Participants

Age, Continuous

5
years (Mean)
Standard Deviation: 1

Age, Categorical

Region of Enrollment

Sex: Female, Male

Overall Study

Sapropterin

Placebo

Drop/Withdrawal Reasons

Sapropterin

Placebo