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IND-enabling studies for a clinical trial to genetically program a persistent cancer-targeted immune system.

  • Author(s): Puig-Saus, C
  • Parisi, G
  • Garcia-Diaz, A
  • Krystofinski, PE
  • Sandoval, S
  • Zhang, R
  • Champhekar, AS
  • McCabe, J
  • Cheung-Lau, GC
  • Truong, NA
  • Vega-Crespo, A
  • Komenan, MDS
  • Pang, J
  • Macabali, MH
  • Saco, JD
  • Goodwin, JL
  • Bolon, B
  • Seet, CS
  • Montel-Hagen, A
  • Crooks, GM
  • Hollis, RP
  • Campo-Fernandez, B
  • Bischof, D
  • Cornetta, K
  • Gschweng, EH
  • Adelson, C
  • Nguyen, A
  • Yang, L
  • Witte, ON
  • Baltimore, D
  • Coming-Anduix, B
  • Kohn, DB
  • Wang, X
  • Cabrera, P
  • Kaplan-Lefko, PJ
  • Berent-Maoz, B
  • Ribas, A
  • et al.

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PURPOSE:To improve persistence of adoptively transferred T cell receptor (TCR)-engineered T cells and durable clinical responses, we designed a clinical trial to transplant genetically-modified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) together with adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of T cells both engineered to express an NY-ESO-1 TCR. Here, we report the preclinical studies performed to enable an investigational new drug (IND) application. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:HSCs transduced with a lentiviral vector expressing NY-ESO-1 TCR and the PET reporter/suicide gene HSV1-sr39TK and T cells transduced with a retroviral vector expressing NY-ESO-1 TCR were co-administered to myelodepleted HLA-A2/Kb mice within a formal GLP-compliant study to demonstrate safety, persistence and HSC differentiation into all blood lineages. Non-GLP experiments included assessment of transgene immunogenicity and in vitro viral insertion safety studies. Furthermore, GMP-compliant cell production qualification runs were performed to establish the manufacturing protocols for clinical use. RESULTS:TCR genetically-modified and ex vivo cultured HSCs differentiated into all blood subsets in vivo after HSC transplantation, and co-administration of TCR-transduced T cells did not result in increased toxicity. The expression of NY-ESO-1 TCR and sr39TK transgenes did not have a detrimental effect on gene-modified HSCs differentiation to all blood cell lineages. There was no evidence of genotoxicity induced by the lentiviral vector. GMP batches of clinical-grade transgenic cells produced during qualification runs had adequate stability and functionality. CONCLUSION:Co-administration of HSCs and T cells expressing an NY-ESO-1 TCR is safe in preclinical models. The results presented in this manuscript led to the U.S. FDA approval of IND 17471.

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