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Concept: Haemophilia B

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Hemophilia A is a common X chromosome-linked genetic bleeding disorder caused by abnormalities in the coagulation factor VIII gene (F8). Hemophilia A patients suffer from a bleeding diathesis, such as life-threatening bleeding in the brain and harmful bleeding in joints and muscles. Because it could potentially be cured by gene therapy, subhuman animal models have been sought. Current mouse hemophilia A models generated by gene targeting of the F8 have difficulties to extrapolate human disease due to differences in the coagulation and immune systems between mice and humans. Here, we generated a porcine model of hemophilia A by nuclear transfer cloning from F8-targeted fibroblasts. The hemophilia A pigs showed a severe bleeding tendency upon birth, similar to human severe hemophiliacs, but in contrast to hemophilia A mice which rarely bleed under standard breed conditions. Infusion of human factor VIII was effective in stopping bleeding and reducing the bleeding frequency of a hemophilia A piglet but was blocked by the inhibitor against human factor VIII. These data suggest that the hemophilia A pig is a severe hemophilia A animal model for studying not only hemophilia A gene therapy but also the next generation recombinant coagulation factors, such as recombinant factor VIII variants with a slower clearance rate.

Concepts: Blood, Hemostasis, Factor VIII, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Protein C, Thrombin, Factor X

127

ACE910 is a recombinant humanized bispecific antibody that binds to activated factor IX and factor X and mimics the cofactor function of factor VIII (FVIII). This first-in-human study examined the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) of ACE910 in healthy male adults. A total of 40 Japanese and 24 Caucasian subjects were randomized to receive a single subcutaneous injection of ACE910 (Japanese: 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 0.3, or 1 mg/kg; Caucasian: 0.1, 0.3, or 1 mg/kg; n = 6 per dose group) or placebo (n = 2 per dose group). ACE910 exhibited a linear PK profile and had a half-life of approximately 4 to 5 weeks. In FVIII-neutralized plasma, ACE910 shortened activated partial thromboplastin time and increased peak height of thrombin generation in a dose-dependent manner. All adverse events were non-serious and did not lead to any subject’s withdrawal. Neither clinical findings nor laboratory abnormalities indicating hypercoagulability were observed. Two of 48 subjects receiving ACE910 (1 Japanese and 1 Caucasian) were positive for anti-ACE910 antibodies (anti-drug antibodies; ADA). One subject tested positive for ADA both before and after ACE910 administration, whereas the other became ADA-positive after receiving ACE910. The PK and PD profiles of ACE910 were similar in healthy Japanese and Caucasian subjects, and suggest that ACE910 will be an effective and convenient prophylactic treatment for hemophilia A. This trial was registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.jp (JapicCTI-121934).

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Coagulation, Factor VIII, Haemophilia B, Thrombin, Factor X, Coagulation system

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Background In patients with severe hemophilia A, standard treatment is regular prophylactic and episodic intravenous infusions of factor VIII. However, these treatments are burdensome, especially for children, and may lead to the formation of anti-factor VIII alloantibodies (factor VIII inhibitors). Emicizumab (ACE910), a humanized bispecific antibody mimicking the cofactor function of factor VIII, was developed to abate these problems. Methods We enrolled 18 Japanese patients with severe hemophilia A (with or without factor VIII inhibitors) in an open-label, nonrandomized, interindividual dose-escalation study of emicizumab. The patients received subcutaneous emicizumab weekly for 12 weeks at a dose of 0.3, 1.0, or 3.0 mg per kilogram of body weight (cohorts 1, 2, and 3, respectively). The end points were safety and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. An additional, exploratory end point was the annualized bleeding rate, calculated as 365.25 times the number of bleeding episodes, divided by the number of days in the treatment period as compared with the 6 months before enrollment. Results Emicizumab was associated with neither serious adverse events nor clinically relevant coagulation abnormalities. Plasma concentrations of emicizumab increased in a dose-dependent manner. Activated partial-thromboplastin times remained short throughout the study. The median annualized bleeding rates in cohorts 1, 2, and 3 decreased from 32.5 to 4.4, 18.3 to 0.0, and 15.2 to 0.0, respectively. There was no bleeding in 8 of 11 patients with factor VIII inhibitors (73%) and in 5 of 7 patients without factor VIII inhibitors (71%). Episodic use of clotting factors to control bleeding was reduced. Antibodies to emicizumab did not develop. Conclusions Once-weekly subcutaneous administration of emicizumab markedly decreased the bleeding rate in patients who had hemophilia A with or without factor VIII inhibitors. (Funded by Chugai Pharmaceutical; JapicCTI number, 121934.).

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Hemostasis, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Protein C, Division, Factor X

39

Background The prevention of bleeding with adequately sustained levels of clotting factor, after a single therapeutic intervention and without the need for further medical intervention, represents an important goal in the treatment of hemophilia. Methods We infused a single-stranded adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector consisting of a bioengineered capsid, liver-specific promoter and factor IX Padua (factor IX-R338L) transgene at a dose of 5×1011 vector genomes per kilogram of body weight in 10 men with hemophilia B who had factor IX coagulant activity of 2% or less of the normal value. Laboratory values, bleeding frequency, and consumption of factor IX concentrate were prospectively evaluated after vector infusion and were compared with baseline values. Results No serious adverse events occurred during or after vector infusion. Vector-derived factor IX coagulant activity was sustained in all the participants, with a mean (±SD) steady-state factor IX coagulant activity of 33.7±18.5% (range, 14 to 81). On cumulative follow-up of 492 weeks among all the participants (range of follow-up in individual participants, 28 to 78 weeks), the annualized bleeding rate was significantly reduced (mean rate, 11.1 events per year [range, 0 to 48] before vector administration vs. 0.4 events per year [range, 0 to 4] after administration; P=0.02), as was factor use (mean dose, 2908 IU per kilogram [range, 0 to 8090] before vector administration vs. 49.3 IU per kilogram [range, 0 to 376] after administration; P=0.004). A total of 8 of 10 participants did not use factor, and 9 of 10 did not have bleeds after vector administration. An asymptomatic increase in liver-enzyme levels developed in 2 participants and resolved with short-term prednisone treatment. One participant, who had substantial, advanced arthropathy at baseline, administered factor for bleeding but overall used 91% less factor than before vector infusion. Conclusions We found sustained therapeutic expression of factor IX coagulant activity after gene transfer in 10 participants with hemophilia who received the same vector dose. Transgene-derived factor IX coagulant activity enabled the termination of baseline prophylaxis and the near elimination of bleeding and factor use. (Funded by Spark Therapeutics and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02484092 .).

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Blood, Coagulation, Hemostasis, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Factor IX

33

Antibodies (inhibitors) developed by hemophilia B patients against coagulation factor IX (FIX) are challenging to eliminate because of anaphylaxis or nephrotic syndrome after continued infusion. To address this urgent unmet medical need, FIX fused with a transmucosal carrier (CTB) was produced in a commercial lettuce (Simpson Elite) cultivar using species specific chloroplast vectors regulated by endogenous psbA sequences. CTB-FIX (∼1 mg/g) in lyophilized cells was stable with proper folding, disulfide bonds and pentamer assembly when stored ∼2 years at ambient temperature. Feeding lettuce cells to hemophilia B mice delivered CTB-FIX efficiently to the gut immune system, induced LAP(+) regulatory T cells and suppressed inhibitor/IgE formation and anaphylaxis against FIX. Lyophilized cells enabled 10-fold dose escalation studies and successful induction of oral tolerance was observed in all tested doses. Induction of tolerance in such a broad dose range should enable oral delivery to patients of different age groups and diverse genetic background. Using Fraunhofer cGMP hydroponic system, ∼870 kg fresh or 43.5 kg dry weight can be harvested per 1000 ft(2) per annum yielding 24,000-36,000 doses for 20-kg pediatric patients, enabling first commercial development of an oral drug, addressing prohibitively expensive purification, cold storage/transportation and short shelf life of current protein drugs.

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Factor X, Factor XI, Factor VII, Factor IX

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A global Phase 3 study evaluated the pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety of recombinant fusion protein linking coagulation factor IX with albumin (rIX-FP) in 63 previously treated male patients (12-61 years) with severe hemophilia B (FIX activity ≤ 2%). The study included 2 groups: Group 1 patients received routine prophylaxis once every 7 days for 26 weeks, followed by either 7-, 10- or 14-day prophylaxis regimen for a mean of 50, 38, or 51 weeks, respectively; Group 2 patients received on-demand treatment for bleeding episodes for 26 weeks and then switched to a 7 day prophylaxis regimen for a mean of 45 weeks. The mean terminal half-life of rIX-FP was 102 hours, 4.3-fold longer than previous factor IX (FIX) treatment. Patients maintained a mean trough of 20 and 12 IU/dL FIX activity on prophylaxis with rIX-FP 40 IU/kg weekly and 75 IU/kg every 2 weeks, respectively. There was a 100% reduction in median annualized spontaneous bleeding rate (AsBR) and 100% resolution of target joints when subjects switched from on-demand to prophylaxis treatment with rIX-FP (P <0.0001). The median AsBR was 0.00 for all prophylaxis regimens. Overall, 98.6% of bleeding episodes were treated successfully, including 93.6% that were treated with a single injection. No patient developed an inhibitor and no safety concerns were identified. These results indicate that rIX-FP is safe and effective for preventing and treating bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia B at dosing regimens of 40 IU/kg weekly and 75 IU/kg every 2 weeks. Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT0101496274).

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Haemophilia B, Factor X, Factor VII, Factor IX

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Nuwiq(®) (human-cl rhFVIII) is a 4(th) generation recombinant human FVIII, without chemical modification or protein fusion, produced in a human cell-line.

Concepts: Haemophilia, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Haemophilia C

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Hemophilia B, or the “royal disease,” arises from mutations in coagulation factor IX (F9). Mutations within the F9 promoter are associated with a remarkable hemophilia B subtype, termed hemophilia B Leyden, in which symptoms ameliorate after puberty. Mutations at the -5/-6 site (nucleotides -5 and -6 relative to the transcription start site, designated +1) account for the majority of Leyden cases and have been postulated to disrupt the binding of a transcriptional activator, the identity of which has remained elusive for more than 20 years. Here, we show that ONECUT transcription factors (ONECUT1 and ONECUT2) bind to the -5/-6 site. The various hemophilia B Leyden mutations that have been reported in this site inhibit ONECUT binding to varying degrees, which correlate well with their associated clinical severities. In addition, expression of F9 is crucially dependent on ONECUT factors in vivo, and as such, mice deficient in ONECUT1, ONECUT2, or both exhibit depleted levels of F9. Taken together, our findings establish ONECUT transcription factors as the missing hemophilia B Leyden regulators that operate through the -5/-6 site.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Transcription, Coagulation, Transcription factor, Activator, Haemophilia B, Factor IX

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Hemophilia A and hemophilia B are caused by congenital deficiency of factor VIII and factor IX, respectively, and may lead to recurrent, spontaneous bleeding into the muscles and joints resulting in disabling arthropathy. Effective management is available in the form of prophylactic infusions of clotting factor concentrates which have been demonstrated to prevent bleeding episodes and greatly improve the quality of life of these patients. Prophylaxis is, however, expensive. Usual dosing regimens rely on weight based calculations but dosing with an understanding of an individual’s pharmacokinetic response has been demonstrated to be more effective in predicting clotting factor levels that protect against bleeding episodes. Standard pharmacokinetic studies require a prohibitive number of time sampling points but recent population or Bayesian pharmacokinetics can be used to provide an accurate estimation of an individual’s pharmacokinetic response using a limited number of sampling time points. The use of population pharmacokinetics has the potential to greatly increase the use of pharmacokinetic dosing regimens and optimize the use of clotting factor concentrates in patients with hemophilia. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012; 60: S27-S29. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Pharmacokinetics, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Factor X, Coagulation system, Factor IX

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Studies on gene therapy for hemophilia B (HB) using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors showed that the safety of a given strategy is directly related to the vector dose. To overcome this limitation, we sought to test the efficacy and the risk of immunogenicity of a novel factor IX (FIX) R338L associated with ~8-fold increased specific activity. Muscle-directed expression of canine FIX-R338L by AAV vectors was carried out in HB dogs. Therapeutic levels of circulating canine FIX activity (3.5-8%) showed 8-9 fold increased specific activity, similar to humans with FIX-R338L. Phenotypic improvement was documented by the lack of bleeding episodes for a cumulative 5-year observation. No antibody formation and T cell responses to FIX-R338L were observed even upon challenges with FIX-wild type protein. Moreover, no adverse vascular thrombotic complications were noted. Thus, FIX-R338L provides an attractive strategy to safely enhance the efficacy of gene therapy for HB.

Concepts: Protein, Gene, Gene expression, Cell, Evolution, Molecular biology, Haemophilia B, Vector Motors