Original Research Article

Pediatric Drugs

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 407-415

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Results from a Nationwide Cohort Temporary Utilization Authorization (ATU) Survey of Patients in France Treated with Pheburane® (Sodium Phenylbutyrate) Taste-Masked Granules

  • Yves KibleurAffiliated withLucane Pharma Email author 
  • , Dries DobbelaereAffiliated withReference Center for Inherited Metabolic Diseases in Child and Adulthood, University Children’s Hospital Jeanne de Flandre
  • , Magalie BarthAffiliated withCentre de référence maladies métaboliques-CHU Angers
  • , Anaïs BrassierAffiliated withMa.M.E.A-Centre de référence maladies métaboliques Hôpital Necker
  • , Nathalie GuffonAffiliated withCentre de Référence des maladies héréditaires du métabolisme, Hôpital Femme-Mère-Enfant



The aim of this study was to describe a nationwide system for pre-marketing follow-up (cohort temporary utilization authorization [ATU] protocol; i.e., ‘therapeutic utilization’) of a new taste-masked formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate (NaPB) granules (Pheburane®) in France and to analyze safety and efficacy in this treated cohort of patients with urea cycle disease (UCD).


In October 2012, a cohort ATU was established in France to monitor the use of Pheburane® on a named-patient basis. All treated UCD patients were included in a follow-up protocol developed by the Laboratory (Lucane Pharma) and the French Medicines Agency (ANSM), which recorded demographics, dosing characteristics of NaPB, concomitant medications, adverse events, and clinical outcome during the period of treatment. Following the granting of the Marketing Authorization in Europe, the cohort ATU was terminated approximately 1 year after its initiation, as the product was launched on the French market.


The ease of administration and acceptability were much better with the new taste-masked formulation than with the previous treatment. No episodes of metabolic decompensation were observed over a treatment period ranging from 3 to 11 months with Pheburane® and the range of ammonia and glutamine plasma levels improved and remained within the normal range. In all, no adverse events were reported with Pheburane® treatment.


The recently developed taste-masked formulation of NaPB granules improved the quality of life for UCD patients. This may translate into improved compliance, efficacy, and safety, which may be demonstrated either in further studies or in the post-marketing use of the product.