Phase 1/2a clinical trial of gene-corrected autologous cell therapy for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

Research paper by Shaundra S Eichstadt, Melissa M Barriga, Anusha A Ponakala, Claudia C Teng, Ngon T NT Nguyen, Zurab Z Siprashvili, Jaron J Nazaroff, Emily S ES Gorell, Albert S AS Chiou, Lisa L Taylor, Phuong P Khuu, Douglas R DR Keene, Kerri K Rieger, Rohit K RK Khosla, Louise K LK Furukawa, et al.

Indexed on: 05 Oct '19Published on: 04 Oct '19Published in: JCI insight


BACKGROUNDRecessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) patients have mutations in the COL7A1 gene and thus lack functional type VII collagen (C7) protein; they have marked skin fragility and blistering. This single-center phase 1/2a open-label study evaluated the long-term efficacy, safety, and patient-reported outcomes in RDEB patients treated with gene-corrected autologous cell therapy.METHODSAutologous keratinocytes were isolated from participant skin biopsies. Epidermal sheets were prepared from cells transduced with a retrovirus carrying the full-length human COL7A1 gene. These gene-corrected autologous epidermal sheets measured 5 × 7 cm (35 cm2) and were transplanted onto 6 wound sites in each of 7 adult participants (n = 42 sites total) from 2013 to 2017. Participants were followed for 2 to 5 years.RESULTSNo participants experienced any serious related adverse events. Wound healing of 50% or greater by Investigator Global Assessment was present in 95% (36 of 38) of treated wounds versus 0% (0 of 6) of untreated control wounds at 6 months (P < 0.0001). At year 1, 68% (26 of 38) of treated wounds had 50% or greater healing compared with 17% (1 of 6) of control wounds (P = 0.025). At year 2, 71% (27 of 38) of treated wounds had 50% or greater healing compared with 17% (1 of 6) of control wounds (P = 0.019).CONCLUSIONC7 expression persisted up to 2 years after treatment in 2 participants. Treated wounds with 50% or greater healing demonstrated improvement in patient-reported pain, itch, and wound durability. This study provides additional data to support the clinically meaningful benefit of treating chronic RDEB wounds with ex vivo, C7 gene-corrected autologous cell therapy. This approach was safe and promoted wound healing that was associated with improved patient-reported outcomes.TRIAL REGISTRATIONClinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01263379.FUNDINGEpidermolysis Bullosa Research Partnership, Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, NIH R01 AR055914, Office of Research and Development at the Palo Alto Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, and the Dermatology Foundation.