Imperial College London

MrsTracyHarman

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

CRN Assistant Cluster Lead & Gene Therapy Programme Manager
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 7932t.higgins

 
 
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Location

 

172Emmanuel Kaye BuildingRoyal Brompton Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

8 results found

Alton EW, Beekman JM, Boyd AC, Brand J, Carlon MS, Connolly MM, Chan M, Conlon S, Davidson HE, Davies JC, Davies LA, Dekkers JF, Doherty A, Gea-Sorli S, Gill DR, Griesenbach U, Hasegawa M, Higgins TE, Hironaka T, Hyndman L, McLachlan G, Inoue M, Hyde SC, Innes JA, Maher TM, Moran C, Meng C, Paul-Smith MC, Pringle IA, Pytel KM, Rodriguez-Martinez A, Schmidt AC, Stevenson BJ, Sumner-Jones SG, Toshner R, Tsugumine S, Wasowicz MW, Zhu Jet al., 2016, Preparation for a first-in-man lentivirus trial in patients with cystic fibrosis, Thorax, Vol: 72, Pages: 137-147, ISSN: 0040-6376

We have recently shown that non-viral gene therapy can stabilise the decline of lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). However, the effect was modest, and more potent gene transfer agents are still required. Fuson protein (F)/Hemagglutinin/Neuraminidase protein (HN)-pseudotyped lentiviral vectors are more efficient for lung gene transfer than non-viral vectors in preclinical models. In preparation for a first-in-man CF trial using the lentiviral vector, we have undertaken key translational preclinical studies. Regulatory-compliant vectors carrying a range of promoter/enhancer elements were assessed in mice and human air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures to select the lead candidate; cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance receptor (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 hybrid cytosine guanine dinucleotide (CpG)- free CMV enhancer/elongation factor 1 alpha promoter (hCEF) consisting of the elongation factor 1α promoter and the cytomegalovirus enhancer was most efficacious in both murine lungs and human ALI 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 the progression of the F/HN-pseudotype

Journal article

Alton EWFW, Boyd AC, Davies JC, Gill DR, Griesenbach U, Harrison PT, Henig N, Higgins T, Hyde SC, Innes JA, Korman MSDet al., 2016, Genetic Medicines for CF: Hype versus Reality, Pediatric Pulmonology, Vol: 51, Pages: S5-S17, ISSN: 8755-6863

Since identification of the CFTR gene over 25 years ago, gene therapy for cystic fibrosis (CF) has been actively developed. More recently gene therapy has been joined by other forms of “genetic medicines” including mRNA delivery, as well as genome editing and mRNA repair-based strategies. Proof-of-concept that gene therapy can stabilize the progression of CF lung disease has recently been established in a Phase IIb trial. An early phase study to assess the safety and explore efficacy of CFTR mRNA repair is ongoing, while mRNA delivery and genome editing-based strategies are currently at the pre-clinical phase of development. This review has been written jointly by some of those involved in the various CF “genetic medicine” fields and will summarize the current state-of-the-art, as well as discuss future developments. Where applicable, it highlights common problems faced by each of the strategies, and also tries to highlight where a specific strategy may have an advantage on the pathway to clinical translation. We hope that this review will contribute to the ongoing discussion about the hype versus reality of genetic medicine-based treatment approaches in CF.

Journal article

Griesenbach U, Alton EWFW, Boyd AC, Davies G, Davies JC, Gill DR, Higgins TE, Hyde SC, Innes JA, Porteous DJet al., 2015, A Phase I/IIa safety and efficacy study of nebulized liposome-mediated gene therapy for cystic fibrosis supports a multidose trial, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol: 192, Pages: 1389-1392, ISSN: 1535-4970

Journal article

Alton EWFW, Armstrong DK, Ashby D, 2015, Repeated nebulisation of non-viral CFTR gene therapy in patients with cystic fi brosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2b trial (vol 3, pg 684, 2015), LANCET RESPIRATORY MEDICINE, Vol: 3, Pages: E33-E33, ISSN: 2213-2600

Journal article

Alton EWFW, Armstrong DK, Ashby D, 2015, Repeated nebulisation of non-viral CFTR gene therapy in patients with cystic fibrosis: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2b trial, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 3, Pages: 684-691, ISSN: 2213-2600

BackgroundLung 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.MethodsWe 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 (<70 vs ≥70%), age (<18 vs ≥18 years), inclusion in the mechanistic substudy, and dosing site (London or Edinburgh). Participants and investigators were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was the relative change in % predicted FEV1. The primary analysis was per protocol. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01621867.FindingsBetween 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.InterpretationMonthly application of the pGM169/GL67A gene therapy formulation was associated with a significant, albeit modest, benefit in FEV1 compared with placebo at 1 yea

Journal article

Alton E, Griesenbach U, Davies JC, Higgins Tet al., 2015, A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of repeated nebulisation of non-viral CFTR gene therapy in patients with cystic fibrosis, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, ISSN: 2213-2619

Journal article

Calcedo R, Griesenbach U, Dorgan DJ, Soussi S, Boyd AC, Davies JC, Higgins TE, Hyde SC, Gill DR, Innes JA, Porteous DJ, Alton EW, Wilson JM, Limberis MPet al., 2013, Self-Reactive CFTR T Cells in Humans: Implications for Gene Therapy, HUMAN GENE THERAPY CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT, Vol: 24, Pages: 108-115, ISSN: 2324-8637

Journal article

Griesenbach U, Inoue M, Meng C, Farley R, Chan M, Newman NK, Brum A, You J, Kerton A, Shoemark A, Boyd AC, Davies JC, Higgins TE, Gill DR, Hyde SC, Innes JA, Porteous DJ, Hasegawa M, Alton EWFWet al., 2012, Assessment of F/HN-Pseudotyped Lentivirus as a Clinically Relevant Vector for Lung Gene Therapy, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol: 186, Pages: 846-856, ISSN: 1535-4970

Rationale: Ongoing efforts to improve pulmonary gene transfer thereby enabling gene therapy for the treatment of lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), has led to the assessment of a lentiviral vector (simian immunodeficiency virus [SIV]) pseudotyped with the Sendai virus envelope proteins F and HN.Objectives: To place this vector onto a translational pathway to the clinic by addressing some key milestones that have to be achieved.Methods: F/HN-SIV transduction efficiency, duration of expression, and toxicity were assessed in mice. In addition, F/HN-SIV was assessed in differentiated human air–liquid interface cultures, primary human nasal epithelial cells, and human and sheep lung slices.Measurements and Main Results: A single dose produces lung expression for the lifetime of the mouse (∼2 yr). Only brief contact time is needed to achieve transduction. Repeated daily administration leads to a dose-related increase in gene expression. Repeated monthly administration to mouse lower airways is feasible without loss of gene expression. There is no evidence of chronic toxicity during a 2-year study period. F/HN-SIV leads to persistent gene expression in human differentiated airway cultures and human lung slices and transduces freshly obtained primary human airway epithelial cells.Conclusions: The data support F/HN-pseudotyped SIV as a promising vector for pulmonary gene therapy for several diseases including CF. We are now undertaking the necessary refinements to progress this vector into clinical trials.

Journal article

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