Repeated nebulisation of non-viral CFTR gene therapy in patients with cystic fibrosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2b trial.

Alton EW, Armstrong DK, Ashby D, Bayfield KJ, Bilton D, Bloomfield EV, Boyd AC, Brand J, Buchan R, Calcedo R, Carvelli P, Chan KM, Cheng SH, Collie DD, Cunningham S, Davidson H, Davies G, Davies JC, Davies LA, Dewar A, Doherty A, Donovan J, Dwyer NS, Elgmati HI, Featherstone RF, Gavino J, Gea-Soril S, Geddes DM, Gibson JSR, Gill DR, Greening AP, Griesenbach U, Hansell DM, Harman K, Higgins TE, Hodges SL, Hyde SC, Hyndman L, Innes JA, Jacob J, Jones N, Keogh BF, Limberis MP, Lloyd-Evans P, MacLean AW, Manvell MC, McCormick D, McGovern M, McLachlan G, Meng C, Montero MA, Milligan H, Moyce LJ, Murray GD, Nicholson AG, Osadolor T, Parra-Leiton J, Porteous DJ, Pringle IA, Punch EK, Pytel KM, Quittner AL, Rivellini G, Saunders CJ, Scheule RK, Sheard S, Simmonds NJ, Smith K, Smith SN, Soussi S, Spearing EJ, Stevenson BJ, Sumner-Jones SG, Turkkila M, Urteta RP, Waller MD, Wasowicz MY, Wilson JM, Wolstenholme-Hogg PC

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine

Lancet Respir Med. 2015 Sep;3(9):684-91. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00245-3. Epub 2015 Jul 3.

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Summary

Background

Lung delivery of plasmid DNA encoding the CFTR gene complexed with a cationic liposome is a potential treatment option for patients with cystic fibrosis. We aimed to assess the efficacy of non-viral CFTR gene therapy in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Method

We did this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2b trial in two cystic fibrosis centres with patients recruited from 18 sites in the UK. Patients (aged ≥12 years) with a forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) of 50–90% predicted and any combination of CFTR mutations, were randomly assigned, via a computer-based randomisation system, to receive 5 mL of either nebulised pGM169/GL67A gene–liposome complex or 0·9% saline (placebo) every 28 days (plus or minus 5 days) for 1 year. Randomisation was stratified by % predicted FEV1 (

Findings

Between June 12, 2012, and June 24, 2013, we randomly assigned 140 patients to receive placebo (n=62) or pGM169/GL67A (n=78), of whom 116 (83%) patients comprised the per-protocol population. We noted a significant, albeit modest, treatment effect in the pGM169/GL67A group versus placebo at 12 months' follow-up (3·7%, 95% CI 0·1–7·3; p=0·046). This outcome was associated with a stabilisation of lung function in the pGM169/GL67A group compared with a decline in the placebo group. We recorded no significant difference in treatment-attributable adverse events between groups.

Interpretation

Monthly application of the pGM169/GL67A gene therapy formulation was associated with a significant, albeit modest, benefit in FEV1 compared with placebo at 1 year, indicating a stabilisation of lung function in the treatment group. Further improvements in efficacy and consistency of response to the current formulation are needed before gene therapy is suitable for clinical care; however, our findings should also encourage the rapid introduction of more potent gene transfer vectors into early phase trials.

Funding

Medical Research Council/National Institute for Health Research Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme.

 

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