Enzymes are the catalysts for chemical reactions in our bodies. They help speed up processes ranging from digestion to cell replication to metabolism. When these enzymes are missing or malfunctioning, the body's ability to perform vital life functions is severely slowed, to the point where it can be life threatening.
Enzyme replacement therapy replaces these vital proteins. Hemophilia is a classic example of a disease treated by enzyme replacement. In this case, a blood factor enzyme is transfused into a person with hemophilia to enable his or her blood to clot.
12 drugs approved (excluding blood factor enzymes)
Enzyme replacement therapies are often part of an ongoing treatment that a patient will require for life, but the effect of these therapies on lifespan can be dramatic. Prior to the introduction of hemophilia enzyme replacement, the average lifespan of a person with hemophilia was 11 years. Within a generation of their introduction, that lifespan climbed to 50 plus.1