Background: Vascular inflammation can lead to plaque instability and acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Viruses produce potent immunomodulating proteins that regulate key inflammatory pathways. A myxoma virus-derived serpin Serp-1 reduces inflammatory cell invasion and plaque growth in vascular injury models. Our objective was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Serp-1 in patients with ACS undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention.
Methods and results: This double-blind pilot trial included 48 ACS patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention randomly assigned to Serp-1 at doses of 5 μg/kg (n=19) or 15 μg/kg (n=17) or to placebo (n=12). Serp-1 was given by intravenous bolus immediately before intervention and 24 and 48 hours later. Patients were assessed for safety (primary objective) and efficacy outcomes, including biomarker analysis. In-stent neointimal hyperplasia was evaluated by intravascular ultrasound at 6 months. Key safety outcomes including coagulation parameters and adverse events did not differ between Serp-1 and placebo groups. A dose-dependent reduction in troponin I levels was observed with Serp-1 at 8, 16, 24, and 54 hours (P<0.05) and in creatine kinase-MB levels at 8, 16, and 24 hours after dose (P<0.05). The composite of death, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization occurred in 2 of 12 patients with placebo, 5 of 19 in the low-dose group, and none of 17 patients with the high-dose (P=0.058). Intravascular ultrasound did not detect changes in neointimal hyperplasia among groups.
Conclusions: This is the first study of a viral serpin demonstrating its safety in ACS patients. The significant reduction in myocardial damage biomarkers supports further assessment of Serp-1 in ACS patients undergoing stent deployment.
Clinical trial registration: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00243308.