Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) is an analogue of the human enzyme, (beta)-glucocerebrosidase produced by recombinant DNA technology. (beta)-Glucocerebrosidase ((beta)-D-glucosyl-N-acylsphingosine glucohydrolase, E.C. is a lysosomal glycoprotein enzyme which catalyzes the hydrolysis of the glycolipid glucocerebroside to glucose and ceramide.

Cerezyme ® is produced by recombinant DNA technology using mammalian cell culture (Chinese hamster ovary). Purified imiglucerase is a monomeric glycoprotein of 497 amino acids, containing 4 N-linked glycosylation sites (Mr = 60,430). Imiglucerase differs from placental glucocerebrosidase by one amino acid at position 495 where histidine is substituted for arginine. The oligosaccharide chains at the glycosylation sites have been modified to terminate in mannose sugars. The modified carbohydrate structures on imiglucerase are somewhat different from those on placental glucocerebrosidase. These mannose-terminated oligosaccharide chains of imiglucerase are specifically recognized by endocytic carbohydrate receptors on macrophages, the cells that accumulate lipid in Gaucher disease.

Cerezyme ® is supplied as a sterile, non-pyrogenic, white to off-white lyophilized product. The quantitative composition of the lyophilized drug is provided in the following table:

200 Unit Vial 400 Unit Vial
Imiglucerase (total amount) *
212 units 424 units
170 mg 340 mg
Sodium Citrates
  (Trisodium Citrate)
  (Disodium Hydrogen Citrate)
70 mg
    (52 mg)
    (18 mg)
140 mg
    (104 mg)
    (36 mg)
0.53 mg 1.06 mg
Citric Acid and/or Sodium Hydroxide may have been added at the time of manufacture to adjust pH.
* This provides a respective withdrawal dose of 200 and 400 units of imigulcerase.

An enzyme unit (U) is defined as the amount of enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of one micromole of the synthetic substrate para-nitrophenyl-(beta)-D-glucopyranoside (pNP-Glc) per minute at 37°C. The product is stored at 2-8°C (36-46°F). After reconstitution with Sterile Water for Injection, USP, the imiglucerase concentration is 40 U/mL (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for final concentrations and volumes). Reconstituted solutions have a pH of approximately 6.1.

In addition, Haemaccel® (cross-linked gelatin polypeptides), which is used as a stabilizing agent during the manufacturing process, may also be present in very small amounts in the final product.

Mechanism of Action/Pharmacodynamics

Gaucher disease is characterized by a deficiency of (beta)-glucocerebrosidase activity, resulting in accumulation of glucocerebroside in tissue macrophages which become engorged and are typically found in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow and occasionally in lung, kidney, and intestine. Secondary hematologic sequelae include severe anemia and thrombocytopenia in addition to the characteristic progressive hepatosplenomegaly, skeletal complications, including osteonecrosis and osteopenia with secondary pathological fractures. Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) catalyzes the hydrolysis of glucocerebroside to glucose and ceramide. In clinical trials, Cerezyme ® improved anemia and thrombocytopenia, reduced spleen and liver size, and decreased cachexia to a degree similar to that observed with Ceredase®.

During one hour intravenous infusions of four doses (7.5, 15, 30, 60 U/kg) of Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) steady-state enzymatic activity was achieved by 30 minutes. Following infusion, plasma enzymatic activity declined rapidly with a half-life ranging from 3.6 to 10.4 minutes. Plasma clearance ranged from 9.8 to 20.3 mL/min/kg, (mean ± S.D., 14.5 ± 4.0 mL/min/kg). The volume of distribution corrected for weight ranged from 0.09 to 0.15 L/kg (0.12 ± 0.02 L/kg). These variables do not appear to be influenced by dose or duration of infusion. However, only one or two patients were studied at each dose level and infusion rate. The pharmacokinetics of Cerezyme ® do not appear to be different from placental-derived alglucerase (Ceredase®).

In patients who developed IgG antibody to Cerezyme ®, an apparent effect on serum enzyme levels resulted in diminished volume of distribution and clearance and increased elimination half-life compared to patients without antibody (see ).

Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) is indicated for long-term enzyme replacement therapy for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Type 1 Gaucher disease that results in one or more of the following conditions:

  1. anemia
  2. thrombocytopenia
  3. bone disease
  4. hepatomegaly or splenomegaly


There are no known contraindications to the use of Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection). Treatment with Cerezyme ® should be carefully re-evaluated if there is significant clinical evidence of hypersensitivity to the product.

Approximately 15% of patients treated and tested to date have developed IgG antibody to Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) during the first year of therapy. Patients who developed IgG antibody largely did so within 6 months of treatment and rarely developed antibodies to Cerezyme ® after 12 months of therapy. Approximately 46% of patients with detectable IgG antibodies experienced symptoms of hypersensitivity.

Patients with antibody to Cerezyme ® have a higher risk of hypersentivity reaction. Conversely, not all patients with symptoms of hypersensitivity have detectable IgG antibody. It is suggested that patients be monitored periodically for IgG antibody formation during the first year of treatment.

Treatment with Cerezyme ® should be approached with caution in patients who have exhibited symptoms of hypersensitivity to the product.

Anaphylactoid reaction has been reported in less than 1% of the patient population. Further treatment with imiglucerase should be conducted with caution. Most patients have successfully continued therapy after a reduction in rate of infusion and pretreatment with antihistamines and/or corticosteroids.



In less than 1% of the patient population, pulmonary hypertension has also been observed during treatment with Cerezyme ®. Pulmonary hypertension is a known complication of Gaucher disease, and has been observed both in patients receiving and not receiving Cerezyme ®. No causal relationship with Cerezyme ® has been established. Patients with respiratory symptoms should be evaluated for the presence of pulmonary hypertension.

Therapy with Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) should be directed by physicians knowledgeable in the management of patients with Gaucher disease.

Caution may be advisable in administration of Cerezyme ® to patients previously treated with Ceredase® and who have developed antibody to Ceredase® or who have exhibited symptoms of hypersensitivity to Ceredase®.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Studies have not been conducted in either animals or humans to assess the potential effects of Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) on carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, or impairment of fertility.

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection). It is also not known whether Cerezyme ® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman, or can affect reproductive capacity. Cerezyme ® should not be administered during pregnancy except when the indication and need are clear and the potential benefit is judged by the physician to substantially justify the risk.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) is administered to a nursing woman.


Experience in patients treated with Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) has revealed that approximately 9.8% of patients experienced adverse events which were judged to be related to Cerezyme ® administration and which occurred with an increase in frequency. Some of the adverse events were related to the route of administration. These include discomfort, pruritus, burning, swelling or sterile abscess at the site of venipuncture. Each of these events were found to occur in < 1% of the total patient population.

Symptoms suggestive of hypersensitivity have been noted in approximately 4.4% of patients. Onset of such symptoms has occurred during or shortly after infusions; these symptoms include pruritus, flushing, urticaria/angioedema, chest discomfort, respiratory symptoms, cyanosis and hypotension. Anaphylactoid reaction has also been reported. (see ). Each of these events were found to occur in < 1% of the total patient population. Pre-treatment with antihistamines and/or corticosteroids and reduced rate of infusion have allowed continued use of Cerezyme ® in most patients.

Additional adverse reactions that have been reported in approximately 5.4% of patients treated with Cerezyme ® include: nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash, fatigue, headache, fever, dizziness, chills, backache, and tachycardia. Each of these events were found to occur in < 1% of the total patient population.

In addition to the adverse reactions that have been observed in patients treated with Cerezyme ®, the following adverse reactions have been reported for this therapeutic class of drug: transient peripheral edema and vomiting.


Experience with doses up to 240 U/kg every two weeks have been reported. At that dose there have been no reports of obvious toxicity.


Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) is administered by intravenous infusion over 1-2 hours. Dosage should be individualized to each patient. Initial dosages range from 2.5 U/kg of body weight 3 times a week to 60 U/kg once every 2 weeks. 60 units/kg every 2 weeks is the dosage for which the most data are available. Disease severity may dictate that treatment be initiated at a relatively high dose or relatively frequent administration. Dosage adjustments should be made on an individual basis, and may increase or decrease, based on achievement of therapeutic goals as assessed by routine comprehensive evaluations of the patients's clinical manifestations.

Cerezyme ® should be stored at 2-8°C (36-46°F). Each vial, after reconstitution with Sterile Water for Injection, USP, should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration before use. Any vials exhibiting particulate matter or discoloration should not be used. DO NOT USE Cerezyme ® after the expiration date on the vial.

On the day of use, after the correct amount of Cerezyme ® to be administered to the patient has been determined, the appropriate number of vials are each reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injection, USP. The final concentrations and administration volumes are provided in the following table:

200 Unit Vial 400 Unit Vial
5.1 mL 10.2 mL
Final volume of reconstituted product
5.3 mL 10.6 mL
40 U/mL 40 U/mL
5.0 mL 10.0 mL
Units of enzyme within final volume
200 Units 400 units

A nominal 5.0 mL for the 200 unit vial (10.0 mL for the 400 unit vial) is withdrawn from each vial. The appropriate amount of Cerezyme ® for each patient is diluted with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, to a final volume of 100 to 200 mL. Cerezyme ® is administered by intravenous infusion over 1 to 2 hours--or at a rate between 0.5-1.0 unit per kg body weight per minute. Aseptic techniques should be used when diluting the dose. Since Cerezyme ® does not contain any preservative, after reconstitution, vials should be promptly diluted and not stored for subsequent use. Cerezyme ®, after reconstitution, has been shown to be stable for up to 12 hours when stored at room temperature (25°C) and at 2-8°C. Cerezyme ®, when diluted, has been shown to be stable for up to 24 hours when stored at 2-8°C.

Relatively low toxicity, combined with the extended time course of response, allows small dosage adjustments to be made occasionally to avoid discarding partially used bottles. Thus, the dosage administered in individual infusions may be slightly increased or decreased to utilize fully each vial as long as the monthly administered dosage remains substantially unaltered.


Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) is supplied as a sterile, non-pyrogenic, lyophilized product. It is available as follows:

  200 Units per Vial NDC 58468-1983-1

  400 Units per Vial NDC 58468-4663-1

  Store at 2-8°C (36-46°F).

Rx only

U.S. Patent Numbers: 5,236,838

Cerezyme ® (imiglucerase for injection) is manufactured by:

Genzyme Corporation

One Kendall Square

Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

Certain manufacturing operations may have been performed by other firms.

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