Background: Phase 1 studies have shown potential benefit of gene replacement in RPE65-mediated inherited retinal dystrophy. This phase 3 study assessed the efficacy and safety of voretigene neparvovec in participants whose inherited retinal dystrophy would otherwise progress to complete blindness.
Methods: In this open-label, randomised, controlled phase 3 trial done at two sites in the USA, individuals aged 3 years or older with, in each eye, best corrected visual acuity of 20/60 or worse, or visual field less than 20 degrees in any meridian, or both, with confirmed genetic diagnosis of biallelic RPE65 mutations, sufficient viable retina, and ability to perform standardised multi-luminance mobility testing (MLMT) within the luminance range evaluated, were eligible. Participants were randomly assigned (2:1) to intervention or control using a permuted block design, stratified by age (<10 years and ≥10 years) and baseline mobility testing passing level (pass at ≥125 lux vs <125 lux). Graders assessing primary outcome were masked to treatment group. Intervention was bilateral, subretinal injection of 1·5 × 1011 vector genomes of voretigene neparvovec in 0·3 mL total volume. The primary efficacy endpoint was 1-year change in MLMT performance, measuring functional vision at specified light levels. The intention-to-treat (ITT) and modified ITT populations were included in primary and safety analyses. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00999609, and enrolment is complete.
Findings: Between Nov 15, 2012, and Nov 21, 2013, 31 individuals were enrolled and randomly assigned to intervention (n=21) or control (n=10). One participant from each group withdrew after consent, before intervention, leaving an mITT population of 20 intervention and nine control participants. At 1 year, mean bilateral MLMT change score was 1·8 (SD 1·1) light levels in the intervention group versus 0·2 (1·0) in the control group (difference of 1·6, 95% CI 0·72-2·41, p=0·0013). 13 (65%) of 20 intervention participants, but no control participants, passed MLMT at the lowest luminance level tested (1 lux), demonstrating maximum possible improvement. No product-related serious adverse events or deleterious immune responses occurred. Two intervention participants, one with a pre-existing complex seizure disorder and another who experienced oral surgery complications, had serious adverse events unrelated to study participation. Most ocular events were mild in severity.
Interpretation: Voretigene neparvovec gene replacement improved functional vision in RPE65-mediated inherited retinal dystrophy previously medically untreatable.
Funding: Spark Therapeutics.
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