Author(s): Margaritis P, Roy E, Aljamali MN, Downey HD, Giger U,
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Abstract Continuous expression of activated factor VII (FVIIa) via gene transfer is a potential therapeutic approach for hemophilia patients with or without inhibitory antibodies to human factor VIII (FVIII) or IX (FIX). Here, we investigate whether gene transfer of an engineered canine FVIIa (cFVIIa) transgene can affect hemostasis in a canine model of hemophilia, a good predictor of efficacy of hemophilia treatments. Purified recombinant cFVIIa exhibited 12-fold higher tissue factor-dependent activity than purified recombinant zymogen cFVII. Subsequently, we generated a serotype 8 recombinant adeno-associated viral vector expressing cFVIIa from a liver-specific promoter. Vector delivery via the portal vein in hemophilia A and B dogs was well tolerated, and long-term expression of cFVIIa resulted in a shortening of the prothrombin time, partial correction of the whole blood clotting time and thromboelastography parameters, and a complete absence of spontaneous bleeding episodes. No evidence of hepatotoxicity, thrombotic complications, or inhibitory immune response was found. These data provide the first evidence for in vivo efficacy and safety of continuously expressed FVIIa as a FVIII/FIX-bypassing agent in a large animal model of hemophilia, avoiding the risk of inhibitor formation associated with bolus FVIII or FIX infusion.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy