Use of pegvaliase in the management of phenylketonuria: Case series of early experience in US clinics

Darius Adams, Hans C. Andersson, Heather Bausell, Kea Crivelly, Caroline Eggerding, Melissa Lah, Joshua Lilienstein, Kristin Lindstrom, Markey McNutt, Joseph W. Ray, Heather Saavedra, Stephanie Sacharow, Danielle Starin, Jennifer Tiffany-Amaro, Janet Thomas, Erika Vucko, Leah B. Wessenberg, Kaleigh Whitehall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: To present a case series that illustrates real-world use of pegvaliase based on the initial experiences of US healthcare providers. Methods: Sixteen healthcare providers from 14 centers across the US with substantial clinical experience in treating patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) with pegvaliase in the two-plus years since FDA approval (May 2018) provided cases that exemplified important lessons from their initial experiences treating patients with pegvaliase. Key lessons from each case and takeaway points were discussed in both live and virtual meetings. Results: Fifteen cases of adults with PKU (eight males, seven females), representing a spectrum of age (18 to 53 years), previous PKU care, comorbidities, and socioeconomic situations were reviewed and discussed. Full extended case reports are included in the Supplement. The cases showed that treating patients with a daily injectable can be challenging due to a patient's financial problems, treatment challenges, and neuropsychological and psychiatric comorbidities, which can be identified before starting pegvaliase, but do not prohibit successful treatment. The authors agreed that patient education on adverse events (AEs), time to efficacy, dietary changes, and food preparation is an ongoing process that should start prior to initiating pegvaliase treatment. Treatment goals and planned dietary changes once efficacy is reached should be defined prior to treatment initiation and re-evaluated throughout the course of therapy. Each patient's titration schedule and dietary adjustments are unique, depending on occurrence of AEs and individual goals of treatment. Despite the AE profile of pegvaliase, all but two patients remained motivated to continue treatment and achieved efficacy (except one patient in whom titration was still ongoing). AEs occurring early in the treatment pathway may require prolongation of the titration phase and/or concomitant medication use, but do not seem indicative of future tolerability or eventual efficacy. Close follow-up of patients during titration and maintenance to help with dietary changes is important. Conclusion: This case series provides real-world experience on the use of pegvaliase. Until data from registries and independent research become available, the data presented herein can support appropriate management of patients receiving pegvaliase in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100790
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Adverse events
  • Case series
  • PEGylated phenylalanine ammonia lyase
  • PKU diet
  • Pegvaliase
  • Phenylketonuria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology


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