Feasibility Study for Bedside Production of Recombinant Human Acid α-Glucosidase: Technical and Financial Considerations

Mohammed H Aldosari, Marcel den Hartog, Hubertina Ganizada, Martijn J W Evers, Enrico Mastrobattista, Huub Schellekens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The high cost of orphan drugs limits their access by many patients, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Many orphan drugs are off-patent without alternative generic or biosimilar versions available. Production of these drugs at the point-of-care, when feasible, could be a cost-effective alternative.

METHODS: The financial feasibility of this approach was estimated by setting up a small-scale production of recombinant human acid alpha-glucosidase (rhGAA). The commercial version of rhGAA is Myozyme™, and Lumizyme™ in the United States, which is used to treat Pompe disease. The rhGAA was produced in CHO-K1 mammalian cells and purified using multiple purification steps to obtain a protein profile comparable to Myozyme™.

RESULTS: The established small-scale production of rhGAA was used to obtain a realistic cost estimation for the magistral production of this biological drug. The treatment cost of rhGAA using bedside production was estimated at $3,484/gram, which is 71% lower than the commercial price of Myozyme ™.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that bedside production might be a cost-effective approach to increase the access of patients to particular life-saving drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-479
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Affordability
  • bedside production
  • orphan drug
  • Pompe disease
  • rare disease
  • rhGAA


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