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
BACKGROUND Novel therapeutic approaches are critically needed for Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (BSI), particularly for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Exebacase, a first-in-class antistaphylococcal lysin, is a direct lytic agent that is rapidly bacteriolytic, eradicates biofilms, and synergizes with antibiotics. METHODS In this superiority-design study, we randomly assigned 121 patients with S. aureus BSI/endocarditis to receive a single dose of exebacase or placebo. All patients received standard-of-care antibiotics. The primary efficacy endpoint was clinical outcome (responder rate) at Day 14. RESULTS Clinical responder rates at Day 14 were 70.4% and 60.0% in the exebacase + antibiotics and antibiotics alone groups, respectively (difference=10.4, 90% CI [-6.3, 27.2], p-value=0.31), and were 42.8 percentage points higher in the pre-specified exploratory MRSA subgroup (74.1% vs. 31.3%, difference=42.8, 90% CI [14.3, 71.4], ad hoc p value=0.01). Rates of adverse events (AEs) were similar in both groups. No AEs of hypersensitivity to exebacase were reported. Thirty-day all-cause mortality rates were 9.7% and 12.8% in the exebacase + antibiotics and antibiotics alone groups, respectively, with a notable difference in MRSA (3.7% vs. 25.0%, difference= –21.3, 90% CI [-45.1, 2.5], ad hoc p-value=0.06). Among MRSA patients in the United States, median length-of-stay was 4-days shorter and 30-day hospital readmission rates were 48 percentage points lower in the exebacase-treated group compared with antibiotics alone. CONCLUSIONS This study establishes proof-of-concept for exebacase and direct lytic agents as potential therapeutics and supports conduct of a confirmatory study focused on exebacase to treat MRSA BSI.
Vance G. Fowler, Jr., Anita F. Das, Joy Lipka-Diamond, Raymond Schuch, Roger Pomerantz, Luis Jáuregui-Peredo, Adam Bressler, David C. Evans, Gregory J. Moran, Mark E. Rupp, Robert A. Wise, G. Ralph Corey, Marcus Zervos, Pamela S. Douglas, Cara Cassino
Background. Preclinical experiments have shown that donor blood cells, modified in vitro by an alkylating agent (MIC, modified immune cells), induced long-term specific immunosuppression against the allogeneic donor. Methods. In this phase-I trial, patients received either 1.5x106 MIC per kg b.w. on day -2 (N=3, group A), or 1.5x108 MIC per kg b.w. on day -2 (N=3, group B) or day -7 (N=4, group C) before living donor kidney transplantation in addition to post-transplant immunosuppression. Primary outcome measure was the frequency of adverse events (AE) until day 30 (study phase) with follow-up to day 360. Results. MIC infusions were extremely well tolerated. During the study phase, a total of 69 AE occurred in 10 treated patients which were unlikely/not related to MIC infusion. No donor-specific human leukocyte antigen antibodies or rejection episodes were noted even though the patients received up to 1.3x1010 of donor mononuclear cells prior to transplantation. Group C patients with low immunosuppression during follow-up showed no in vitro reactivity against stimulatory donor blood cells on day 360 while reactivity against third party cells was preserved. Frequencies of CD19+CD24highCD38high transitional B lymphocytes (Breg) increased from a median of 6% before MIC infusion to 20% on day 180, which was 19- and 68-fold higher, respectively, than in two independent cohorts of transplanted controls. The majority of Breg produced immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10. MIC-treated patients showed the Immune Tolerance Network operational tolerance signature. Conclusion. MIC administration was safe and could be a future tool for the targeted induction of tolerogenic Breg.
Christian Morath, Anita Schmitt, Christian Kleist, Volker Daniel, Gerhard Opelz, Caner Süsal, Eman H. Ibrahim, Florian Kälble, Claudius Speer, Christian Nusshag, Luiza Pego da Silva, Claudia Sommerer, Lei Wang, Ming Ni, Angela Hückelhoven-Krauss, David Czock, Uta Merle, Arianeb Mehrabi, Anja Sander, Matthes Hackbusch, Christoph Eckert, Rüdiger Waldherr, Paul Schnitzler, Carsten Müller-Tidow, Jörg D. Hoheisel, Shakhawan A. Mustafa, Mohamed S.S. Alhamdani, Andrea S Bauer, Jochen Reiser, Martin Zeier, Michael Schmitt, Matthias Schaier, Peter Terness
BACKGROUND. Beige adipose tissue is associated with improved glucose homeostasis in mice. Adipose tissue contains β3 adrenergic receptors (β3-AR), and this study was intended to determine whether the treatment of obese, insulin-resistant humans with the β3AR agonist mirabegron, which stimulates beige adipose formation in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (SC WAT), would induce other beneficial changes in fat and muscle, and improve metabolic homeostasis. METHODS. Before and after β3AR agonist treatment, oral glucose tolerance tests and euglycemic clamps were performed, and histochemistry and gene expression profiling were performed from fat and muscle biopsies. PET CT scans quantified brown adipose tissue volume and activity and we conducted in vitro studies with primary cultures of differentiated human adipocytes and muscle.RESULTS. Clinical effects of mirabegron treatment included improved oral glucose tolerance (P<0.01), reduced hemoglobin A1c (P=0.01), and improved insulin sensitivity (P=0.03) and β-cell function (P=0.01). In SC WAT, mirabegron treatment stimulated lipolysis, reduced fibrotic gene expression and increased alternatively activated macrophages. Subjects with the most SC WAT beiging demonstrated the most improvement in β-cell function. In skeletal muscle, mirabegron reduced triglycerides, increased expression of PGC1A (P<0.05), and increased type I fibers (P<0.01). Conditioned media from adipocytes treated with mirabegron stimulated muscle fiber PGC1A expression in vitro (P<0.001). CONCLUSION. Mirabegron treatment significantly improves glucose tolerance in obese, insulin resistant humans. Since β-cells and skeletal muscle do not express β3-ARs, these data suggest that the beiging of SC WAT by mirabegron reduces adipose tissue dysfunction, which enhances muscle oxidative capacity and improves β-cell function. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02919176.FUNDING. NIH (DK112282, P30GM127211, DK 71349, and CTSA grant UL1TR001998).
Brian S. Finlin, Hasiyet Memetimin, Beibei Zhu, Amy L. Confides, Hemendra J. Vekaria, Riham H. El Khouli, Zachary R. Johnson, Philip M. Westgate, Jianzhong Chen, Andrew J. Morris, Patrick G. Sullivan, Esther E. Dupont-Versteegden, Philip A. Kern