|Description||Canavan Disease is a congenital white matter disorder caused by mutations to the gene encoding for aspartoacylase (ASPA). Expression of aspa is restricted to oligodendrocytes, the sole white matter producing lineage in the brain. ASPA supports developmental myelination in the capacity of its sole known function, namely, the catabolism of N-acetylaspartate (NAA). Inherited mutations that result in loss of ASPA catabolic activity result in a typically severe phenotype characterized by chronically elevated brain NAA, gross motor abnormalities, hypomyelination, progressive spongiform degeneration of the brain, epilepsy, blindness and a short life expectancy. Disease severity is correlated with residual levels of enzyme activity. Reconstitution of ASPA function in oligodendrocytes of the brains of Canavan patients is expected to rescue NAA metabolism in its natural cellular compartment and support myelination/remyelination by resident white matter producing cells. This protocol directly targets oligodendrocytes in the brain, which are intimately involved with disease initiation and progression. Targeting oligodendrocytes offers the safest and most direct therapy for affected individuals.
The latest generation AAV viral vector (rAAV-Olig001-ASPA) will be administered to patients using a minimally invasive neurosurgical procedure which involves direct administration of gene therapy to affected regions of the brain. Outcome measures for the open label clinical trial include longitudinal clinical assessments and brain imaging.
Currently there is no effective treatment for Canavan Disease. The purpose of this study is to validate a new technology targeted to the cells most affected by Canavan Disease in the safest way possible.
The study investigators are committed to supporting the Rare Disease & Canavan Disease Communities. For more Information, please contact Ms. Jordana Holovach, Director, Global Patient Advocacy at PatientAdvocacy@CureRareDisease.com.|