Dr J C Pompe

Dr J C Pompe
Discoverer of Pompe disease

About this blog

What you can read here is the story of the development of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), the first effective treatment for Pompe disease. It is an incredible story, rich with events, characters and science. Above all, it is the story of an international community of scientists, doctors, patients and companies, working together towards a common goal.

It is not a story that features in Geeta Anand's book, The Cure , or the film based on it, Extraordinary Measures despite the fact that they are ostensibly about the development of ERT for Pompe ( you can link straight to the relevant articles covering the events described in the book and film here, here and here).

This blog represents my small attempt to set the record straight and to give the story back to its rightful owners - the international Pompe community. It is written here in roughly chronological order i.e. you'll need to start at the bottom of the April 2009 archive page and work your way up.

It is also a personal account and, although I've tried to make it as objective as possible, there is an inevitable degree of subjectivity. For that reason I have included contributions from other members of the worldwide Pompe community and would be delighted to receive more. Feedback is also welcome.

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Sunday, 29 November 2009


A quick summary of where we were at in 1996.

In retrospect, this was a pivotal year though it didn't seem so at the time. The patient group in the UK was growing slowly. The Pompe's Bulletin newletter was circulated to any patients, doctors and scientists that we could think of. The patient groups in different countries  began to reach out to each other via the internet.  Another common link was Arnold Reuser's group on Rotterdam - their willingness to engage with the growing patient community was crucial to its development. They struck a careful balance between their compassion and their professionalism.   There was a growing sense of beginning to come together for a common purpose. Little did we know that things were about to kick off in a quite astonishing way. But that's for 1997:-) First a couple of articles on 1996.

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