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FDA grants breathrough therapy designation to Genzyme's Olipudase Alfa

PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - Sanofi and its subsidiary Genzyme said on Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted breakthrough therapy designation to olipudase alfa.

This enzyme replacement therapy is being investigated for the treatment of patients with nonneurological manifestations of acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD), also known as Niemann-Pick disease Type B, as opposed to type A which is characterized by neurological involvement, the statement said.

ASMD is a serious and life-threatening disorder caused by insufficient activity of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), which results in toxic accumulation of sphingomyelin. There are currently no approved treatment options for patients with Niemann-Pick Type B.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon)