BACKGROUND. Currently, there is no disease-specific therapy for osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). Preclinical studies have shown that excessive TGF-β signaling is a driver of pathogenesis in OI. Here, we evaluated TGF-β signaling in children with OI and translated this discovery by conducting a phase 1 clinical trial of TGF-β inhibition in adults with OI. METHODS. Histology and RNASeq were performed on bones obtained from children affected (n=10) and unaffected (n=4) by OI. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment assay, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) were used to identify key dysregulated pathways. Reverse-phase protein array (RPPA), Western blot (WB), and Immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed to evaluate changes at the protein level. A phase 1 study with a single administration of fresolimumab, a pan-anti-TGF-β neutralizing antibody, was conducted in 8 adults with OI. Safety and effects of fresolimumab on bone remodeling markers and lumbar spine areal bone mineral density (LS aBMD) were assessed. RESULTS. OI bone demonstrated woven structure, increased osteocyte density, high turnover, and reduced bone maturation. SMAD phosphorylation was the most significantly up-regulated GO molecular event. GSEA identified TGF-β pathway as top activated signaling pathway in OI. IPA showed that TGF-β was the most significant activated upstream regulator mediating the global changes identified in OI bone. Treatment with fresolimumab was well-tolerated and associated with increase in LS aBMD in participants with OI type IV, while those with more severe OI type III and VIII had unchanged or decreased LS aBMD. CONCLUSIONS. Our data confirm that TGF-β signaling is a driver pathogenic mechanism in OI bone and that anti-TGF-β therapy could be a potential disease-specific therapy with dose-dependent effects on bone mass and turnover. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT03064074 FUNDING. This work was supported by the Brittle Bone Disorders Consortium (BBDC) (U54AR068069). The BBDC is a part of the National Center for Advancing Translational Science’s (NCATS’) RDCRN. The BBDC is funded through a collaboration between the Office of Rare Disease Research (ORDR) of NCATS, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The BBDC was also supported by the OI Foundation. The work was supported by The Clinical Translational Core of BCM IDDRC (P50HD103555) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD. Funding from the USDA/ARS under Cooperative Agreement No. 58-6250-6-001 also facilitated analysis for the study procedures. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDA, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government. The study was supported by a research agreement with Sanofi Genzyme.
I-Wen Song, Sandesh C.S. Nagamani, Dianne Nguyen, Ingo Grafe, Vernon Reid Sutton, Francis H. Gannon, Elda Munivez, Ming-Ming Jiang, Alyssa Tran, Maegen Wallace, Paul Esposito, Salma Musaad, Elizabeth Strudthoff, Sharon McGuire, Michele Thornton, Vinitha Shenava, Scott Rosenfeld, Roman Shypailo, Eric Orwoll, Brendan Lee
BACKGROUND. Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection is associated with a dysregulated immune response, which can result in cytokine release syndrome and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Patients with COVID-19–associated ARDS have elevated free serum levels of the cytokine lymphotoxin-like inducible protein that competes with glycoprotein D for herpesvirus entry on T cells (LIGHT; also known as TNFSF14). Such patients may benefit from LIGHT neutralization therapy. METHODS. This randomized, double-blind, multicenter, proof-of-concept trial enrolled adults hospitalized with COVID-19–associated pneumonia and mild to moderate ARDS. Patients received standard of care plus a single dose of CERC-002 or placebo. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients receiving CERC-002 who remained alive and free of respiratory failure through day 28. Safety was assessed via adverse event monitoring. RESULTS. For most of the 83 enrolled patients, standard of care included systemic corticosteroids (88.0%) or remdesivir (57.8%). A higher proportion of patients remained alive and free of respiratory failure through day 28 after receiving CERC-002 (83.9%) versus placebo (64.5%; P = .044), including in patients ≥60 years (76.5% vs 47.1%, respectively; P = .042). Mortality rates were 7.7% (CERC-002) and 14.3% (placebo) at day 28 and 10.8% and 22.5%, respectively, at day 60. Treatment-emergent adverse events were less frequent with CERC-002 than placebo. CONCLUSION. For patients with COVID-19–associated ARDS, adding CERC-002 to standard of care treatment reduces LIGHT levels and might reduce the risk of respiratory failure and death. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04412057. FUNDING. Avalo Therapeutics (formerly Cerecor, Inc.)
David S. Perlin, Garry A. Neil, Colleen Anderson, Inbal Zafir-Lavie, Shane Raines, Carl F. Ware, H. Jeffrey Wilkins
Naive and memory CD4+ T cells reactive with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are detectable in unexposed, unimmunized individuals. The contribution of preexisting CD4+ T cells to a primary immune response was investigated in 20 HIV-1–seronegative volunteers vaccinated with an HIV-1 envelope (Env) plasmid DNA prime and recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) boost in the HVTN 106 vaccine trial (clinicaltrials.gov NCT02296541). Prevaccination naive or memory CD4+ T cell responses directed against peptide epitopes in Env were identified in 14 individuals. After priming with DNA, 40% (8/20) of the elicited responses matched epitopes detected in the corresponding preimmunization memory repertoires, and clonotypes were shared before and after vaccination in 2 representative volunteers. In contrast, there were no shared epitope specificities between the preimmunization memory compartment and responses detected after boosting with recombinant MVA expressing a heterologous Env. Preexisting memory CD4+ T cells therefore shape the early immune response to vaccination with a previously unencountered HIV-1 antigen.
Suzanne L. Campion, Elena Brenna, Elaine Thomson, Will Fischer, Kristin Ladell, James E. McLaren, David A. Price, Nicole Frahm, Juliana M. McElrath, Kristen W. Cohen, Janine R. Maenza, Stephen R. Walsh, Lindsey R. Baden, Barton F. Haynes, Bette Korber, Persephone Borrow, Andrew J. McMichael
BACKGROUND. Antibody-based strategies for COVID-19 have shown promise in prevention and treatment of early disease. COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) has been widely used but results from randomized trials supporting its benefit in hospitalized patients with pneumonia are limited. Here, we assess the efficacy of CCP in severely ill, hospitalized adults with COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS. We performed a randomized control trial (PennCCP2), in 80 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia, comparing up to 2 units of locally-sourced CCP plus standard care vs. standard care alone. The primary efficacy endpoint was comparison of a clinical severity score. Key secondary outcomes include 14- and 28-day mortality, 14- and 28-day WHO8 score, duration of supplemental oxygenation or mechanical ventilation, respiratory SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. RESULTS. 80 hospitalized adults with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia were enrolled at median day 6 of symptoms and day 1 of hospitalization; 60% were anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody seronegative. Participants had a median of 3 comorbidities, including risk factors for severe COVID-19 and immunosuppression. CCP treatment was safe and conferred significant benefit by clinical severity score (MED (IQR) 10 (5.5,30) vs. 7 (2.75,12.25), p=0.037) and 28-day mortality (n=10, 26% vs. n=2, 5%; p=0.013). All other pre-specified outcome measures showed weak evidence towards benefit of CCP. CONCLUSIONS. Two units of locally-sourced CCP administered early in hospitalization to majority seronegative participants conferred a significant benefit in clinical severity score and 28-day mortality. Results suggest CCP may benefit select populations, especially those with comorbidities who are treated early. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04397757 FUNDING. University of Pennsylvania.
Katharine J. Bar, Pamela A. Shaw, Grace H. Choi, Nicole Aqui, Andrew Fesnak, Jasper B. Yang, Haideliza Soto-Calderon, Lizette Grajales, Julie Starr, Michelle Andronov, Miranda Mastellone, Chigozie Amonu, Geoff Feret, Maureen DeMarshall, Marie Buchanan, Maria Caturla, James Gordon, Alan Wanicur, M. Alexandra Monroy, Felicity Mampe, Emily Lindemuth, Sigrid Gouma, Anne M. Mullin, Holly Barilla, Anastasiya Pronina, Leah Irwin, Raeann Thomas, Risa A. Eichinger, Faye Demuth, Eline T. Luning Prak, Jose L. Pascual, William R. Short, Michal A. Elovitz, Jillian Baron, Nuala J. Meyer, Kathleen O. Degnan, Ian Frank, Scott E. Hensley, Donald L. Siegel, Pablo Tebas
BACKGROUND. Gingivitis and periodontitis are prevalent inflammatory diseases of the periodontal tissues. Current treatments are often ineffective or do not prevent disease recurrence. Uncontrolled complement activation and resulting chronic gingival inflammation is a hallmark of periodontal diseases. We determined efficacy and safety of a complement 3-targeted therapeutic, AMY-101, locally administered in adults with periodontal inflammation. METHODS. Thirty-two patients with gingival inflammation were enrolled into a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, split-mouth design phase 2a trial, after dose-escalation study to select safe and effective dose with additional 8 patients. Half of the mouth was randomly assigned to AMY-101 (0.1mg/site) or placebo injections at sites of inflammation, administered on days 0, 7 and 14 and evaluated for safety and efficacy outcomes at days 28, 60 and 90. The primary efficacy outcome was change in gingival inflammation, measured by modified gingival index (MGI), and secondary outcomes included changes in bleeding-on-probing (BOP), amount of plaque, pocket depth, clinical attachment level, and gingival crevicular fluid levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) over 90 days. RESULTS. A once-per-week intragingival injection of AMY-101 for 3 weeks was safe and well-tolerated in all participants resulting in significant (P<0.001) reductions in clinical indices measuring gingival inflammation (MGI and BOP). AMY-101 significantly (P<0.05) reduced MMP-8 and MMP-9 levels, indicators of inflammatory tissue destruction. These therapeutic effects persisted for at least 3 months post-treatment. CONCLUSION. AMY-101 causes significant and sustainable reduction in gingival inflammation without adverse events and merits further investigation for the treatment of periodontitis and other oral or peri-implant inflammatory conditions. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03694444. FUNDING. Amyndas Pharmaceuticals. Amyndas contributed to the design and conducts of the clinical trial and in the writing of the manuscript.
Hatice Hasturk, George Hajishengallis, John D. Lambris, Dimitrios C. Mastellos, Despina Yancopoulou
BACKGROUND. COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) has been considered a treatment option in COVID-19. This trial assessed the efficacy of neutralizing antibody containing high-dose CCP in hospitalized adults with COVID-19 requiring respiratory support or intensive care treatment. METHODS. Patients (n=105) were randomized 1:1 to either receive standard treatment and 3 units of CCP or standard treatment alone. Control group patients with progress on day 14 could cross over to the CCP group. Primary outcome was a dichotomous composite outcome of survival and no longer fulfilling criteria for severe COVID-19 on day 21. RESULTS. The primary outcome occurred in 43.4% of patients in the CCP and 32.7% in the control group (p=0.32). The median time to clinical improvement was 26 days in the CCP group and 66 days in the control group (p=0.27). Median time to discharge from hospital was 31 days in the CCP and 51 days in the control group (p=0.24). In the subgroup that received a higher cumulative amount of neutralizing antibodies the primary outcome occurred in 56.0% (versus 32.1%), with significantly shorter intervals to clinical improvement (20 versus 66 days)(p<0.05), and to hospital discharge (21 versus 51 days, p=0.03) and better survival (day-60 probability of survival 91.6% versus 68.1%; p=0.02) compared to the control group. CONCLUSION. CCP added to standard treatment was not associated with significant improvement in the primary and secondary outcomes. A pre-defined subgroup analysis showed a significant benefit for CCP among those who received a larger amount of neutralizing antibodies. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04433910 FUNDING. German Federal Ministry of Health
Sixten Körper, Manfred Weiss, Daniel Zickler, Thomas Wiesmann, Kai Zacharowski, Victor M. Corman, Beate Grüner, Lucas Ernst, Peter Spieth, Philipp M. Lepper, Martin Bentz, Sebastian Zinn, Gregor Paul, Johannes Kalbhenn, Matthias M. Dollinger, Peter Rosenberger, Thomas Kirschning, Thomas Thiele, Thomas Appl, Benjamin Mayer, Michael Schmidt, Christian Drosten, Hinnerk Wulf, Jan Matthias Kruse, Bettina Jungwirth, Erhard Seifried, Hubert Schrezenmeier
BACKGROUND. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells have emerged as a novel approach to treat malignant tumors. This strategy has also been proposed for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. We have developed a broadly neutralizing antibody (bNAb)-derived CAR-T cell therapy which can exerted specific cytotoxic activity against HIV-1-infected cells. METHODS. We conducted an open-label trial of the safety, side-effect profile, pharmacokinetic properties, and antiviral activity of bNAb-derived CAR-T cell therapy in HIV-1-infected individuals who were undergoing analytical interruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART). RESULTS. A total of 14 participants completed only a single administration of bNAb-derived CAR-T cells. CAR-T administration was safe and well tolerated. Six participants discontinued ART, and viremia rebound occurred in all of them, with a 5.3-week median time. Notably, the cell-associated viral RNA and intact proviruses decreased significantly after CAR-T treatment. Analyses of HIV-1 variants before or after CAR-T administration suggested that CAR-T cells exerted pressure on rebound viruses, resulting in a selection of viruses with less diversity and mutations against CAR-T-mediated cytotoxicity. CONCLUSIONS. No safety concerns were identified with adoptive transfer of bNAb-derived CAR-T cells. They reduced viral reservoir. All the rebounds were due to preexisting or emergence of viral escape mutations. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03240328. FUNDING. Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province.
Bingfeng Liu, Wanying Zhang, Baijin Xia, Shuliang Jing, Yingying Du, Fan Zou, Rong Li, Lijuan Lu, Shaozhen Chen, Yonghong Li, Qifei Hu, Yingtong Lin, Yiwen Zhang, Zhangping He, Xu Zhang, Xiejie Chen, Tao Peng, Xiaoping Tang, Weiping Cai, Ting Pan, Linghua Li, Hui Zhang
BACKGROUND. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are implicated as key regulators of tissue destruction in tuberculosis (TB) and may be a target for host-directed therapy. Here, we conducted a Phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating doxycycline, a licensed broad spectrum MMP inhibitor, in pulmonary TB patients. METHODS. Thirty pulmonary TB patients were enrolled within 7 days of initiating anti-TB treatment and randomly assigned to receive either doxycycline 100 mg or placebo twice a day for 14 days in addition to standard care. RESULTS. There were significant changes in the host transcriptome, and suppression of systemic and respiratory markers of tissue destruction with the doxycycline intervention. Whole blood RNA-sequencing demonstrated that doxycycline accelerated restoration of dysregulated gene expression patterns in TB towards normality, with more rapid down-regulation of type I and II interferon and innate immune response genes and concurrent up-regulation of B-cell modules relative to placebo. The effects persisted for 6 weeks after doxycycline was discontinued, concurrent with suppression of plasma MMP-1. In respiratory samples, doxycycline reduced MMP-1, -8, -9, -12 and -13 concentrations, suppressed type I collagen and elastin destruction, and reduced pulmonary cavity volume despite unchanged sputum Mycobacterium tuberculosis loads between the study arms. Two weeks of adjunctive doxycycline with standard anti-TB treatment was well-tolerated, with no serious adverse events related to doxycycline. CONCLUSION. These data demonstrate that adjunctive doxycycline with standard anti-TB treatment suppresses pathological MMPs in pulmonary tuberculosis patients, and suggest that larger studies on adjunctive doxycycline to limit immunopathology in TB are merited.
Qing Hao Miow, Andres F. Vallejo, Yu Wang, Jia Mei Hong, Chen Bai, Felicia S.W. Teo, Alvin Dingyuan Wang, Hong Rong Loh, Tuan Zea Tan, Ying Ding, Hoi Wah She, Suay Hong Gan, Nicholas I. Paton, Josephine Lum, Alicia Tay, Cynthia B.E. Chee, Paul A. Tambyah, Marta E. Polak, Yee Tang Wang, Amit Singhal, Paul Elkington, Jon S. Friedland, Catherine W.M. Ong
Background: Viral load surrogate endpoints transformed development of HIV and hepatitis C therapeutics. Surrogate endpoints for cytomegalovirus (CMV)-related morbidity and mortality could advance development of antiviral treatments. While observational data support using CMV viral load (VL) as a trial endpoint, randomized controlled trials (RCT) demonstrating direct associations between virologic markers and clinical endpoints are lacking. Methods: We performed CMV DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on frozen serum samples from the only placebo-controlled RCT of ganciclovir for early treatment of CMV after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We used established criteria to assess VL kinetics as surrogates for CMV disease or death by weeks 8, 24, and 48 after randomization and quantified antiviral effects captured by each marker. We used ensemble-based machine learning to assess the predictive ability of VL kinetics and performed this analysis on a ganciclovir prophylaxis RCT for validation. Results: VL suppression with ganciclovir reduced cumulative incidence of CMV disease and death for 20 years after HCT. Mean VL, peak VL, and change in VL during the first five weeks of treatment fulfilled the Prentice definition for surrogacy, capturing > 95% of ganciclovir’s effect, and yielded highly sensitive and specific predictions by week 48. In the prophylaxis trial, viral shedding rate satisfied the Prentice definition for CMV disease by week 24. Conclusion: Our results support using CMV VL kinetics as surrogates for CMV disease, provide a framework for developing CMV preventative and therapeutic agents, and support reductions in viral load as the mechanism through which antivirals reduce CMV disease.
Elizabeth R. Duke, Brian D. Williamson, Bhavesh Borate, Jonathan L. Golob, Chiara Wychera, Terry Stevens-Ayers, Meei-Li Huang, Nicole Cossrow, Hong Wan, T. Christopher Mast, Morgan A. Marks, Mary Flowers, Keith R. Jerome, Lawrence Corey, Peter B. Gilbert, Joshua T. Schiffer, Michael Boeckh
Background. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy has achieved complete remission and durable response in highly refractory patients. However, logistical complexity and high costs of manufacturing autologous viral products limit CAR T cell availability. Methods. We reported the early results of a phase I/II trial in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) patients relapsed after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) using donor-derived CD19 CAR T cells generated with the Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon and differentiated into cytokine induced killer cells (CIK). Results. The cellular product was produced successfully for all patients from the donor peripheral blood (PB) and consisted mostly of CD3+ lymphocytes with 43% CAR expression. Four pediatric and 9 adult patients were infused with a single dose of CAR T cells. Toxicities reported were two grade I and a grade II cytokine release syndrome (CRS) cases at the highest dose, in the absence of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), neurotoxicity, or dose-limiting toxicities. Six out of 7 patients, receiving the highest doses, achieved CR and CRi at day 28. Five out of 6 patients in CR were also minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative. Robust expansion was achieved in the majority of the patients. CAR T cells were measurable by transgene copy PCR up to 10 months. Integration site analysis showed a positive safety profile and highly polyclonal repertoire in vitro and at early time points after infusion. Conclusion. SB-engineered CAR T cells expand and persist in pediatric and adult B-ALL patients relapsed after HSCT. Anti-leukemic activity was achieved without severe toxicities. Trial registration. clinicaltrials.gov NCT03389035.Funding. This study was supported by grants from AIRC; CRUK; FC AECC; Ministero della salute; FRRB.
Chiara F. Magnani, Giuseppe Gaipa, Federico Lussana, Daniela Belotti, Giuseppe Gritti, Sara Napolitano, Giada Matera, Benedetta Cabiati, Chiara Buracchi, Gianmaria Borleri, Grazia Fazio, Silvia Zaninelli, Sarah Tettamanti, Stefania Cesana, Valentina Colombo, Michele Quaroni, Giovanni Cazzaniga, Attilio Rovelli, Ettore Biagi, Stefania Galimberti, Andrea Calabria, Fabrizio Benedicenti, Eugenio Montini, Silvia Ferrari, Martino Introna, Adriana Balduzzi, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, Giuseppe Dastoli, Alessandro Rambaldi, Andrea Biondi