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Preparation for a first-in-man lentivirus trial in patients with cystic fibrosis

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  • Eric WFW. Alton
  • Jeffery M. Beekman
  • June Brand
  • Marianne S. Carlon
  • Mary M. Connolly
  • Mario Chan
  • Sinead Conlon
  • Jane C. Davies
  • Lee A. Davies
  • Johanna F. Dekkers
  • Sabrina Gea-sorli
  • Deborah R. Gill
  • Uta Griesenbach
  • Mamoru Hasegawa
  • Tracy E Higgins
  • Takashi Hironaka
  • Makoto Inoue
  • Stephen C. Hyde
  • Toby M. Maher
  • Caroline Moran
  • Cuixiang Meng
  • Michael C. Paul-Smith
  • Ian A. Pringle
  • Kamila M. Pytel
  • Andrea Rodriguez-Martinez
  • Alexander C. Schmidt
  • Stephanie G. Sumner-Jones
  • Richard Toshner
  • Shu Tsugumine
  • Marguerite W. Wasowicz
  • Jie Zhu

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Issue number2
Early online date16 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


We have recently shown that non-viral gene therapy can stabilise the decline of lung function in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. However, the effect was modest, and more potent gene transfer agents are still required. F/HN-pseudotyped lentiviral vectors are more efficient for lung gene transfer than non-viral vectors in pre-clinical models. In preparation for a first-in-man CF trial using the lentiviral vector we have undertaken key translational pre-clinical studies. Regulatory-compliant vectors carrying a range of promoter/enhancer elements were assessed in mice and human air liquid interface cultures to select the lead candidate; CFTR expression and function were assessed in CF models using this lead candidate vector. Toxicity was assessed and “benchmarked” against the leading non-viral formulation recently used in a Phase IIb clinical trial. Integration site profiles were mapped and transduction efficiency determined to inform clinical trial dose-ranging. The impact of pre-existing and acquired immunity against the vector and vector stability in several clinically relevant delivery devices was assessed. A hybrid promoter (hCEF) consisting of the elongation factor 1 promoter and the CMV enhancer was most efficacious in both murine lungs and human air liquid interface cultures (both at least 2 log orders above background). The efficacy (at least 14% of airway cells transduced), toxicity and integration site profile supports further progression towards clinical trial and pre-existing and acquired immune responses do not interfere with vector efficacy. The lead rSIV.F/HN candidate expresses functional CFTR and the vector retains 90-100% transduction efficiency in clinically relevant delivery devices. The data support progression of the F/HN pseudotyped lentiviral vector into a first-in-man CF trial in 2017.

    Research areas

  • Cystic fibrosis, gene therapy, gene transfer, lentivirus, viral vector

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