iMATCH: an integrated modular assembly system for therapeutic combination high-capacity adenovirus gene therapy

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Jan 20;20:572-586. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.01.002. eCollection 2021 Mar 12.

Abstract

Adenovirus-mediated combination gene therapies have shown promising results in vaccination or treating malignant and genetic diseases. Nevertheless, an efficient system for the rapid assembly and incorporation of therapeutic genes into high-capacity adenoviral vectors (HCAdVs) is still missing. In this study, we developed the iMATCH (integrated modular assembly for therapeutic combination HCAdVs) platform, which enables the generation and production of HCAdVs encoding therapeutic combinations in high quantity and purity within 3 weeks. Our modular cloning system facilitates the efficient combination of up to four expression cassettes and the rapid integration into HCAdV genomes with defined sizes. Helper viruses (HVs) and purification protocols were optimized to produce HCAdVs with distinct capsid modifications and unprecedented purity (0.1 ppm HVs). The constitution of HCAdVs, with adapters for targeting and a shield of trimerized single-chain variable fragment (scFv) for reduced liver clearance, mediated cell- and organ-specific targeting of HCAdVs. As proof of concept, we show that a single HCAdV encoding an anti PD-1 antibody, interleukin (IL)-12, and IL-2 produced all proteins, and it led to tumor regression and prolonged survival in tumor models, comparable to a mixture of single payload HCAdVs in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, the iMATCH system provides a versatile platform for the generation of high-capacity gene therapy vectors with a high potential for clinical development.

Keywords: IL-12; IL-2; PD-1; cancer therapy; gene therapy; gene vectors; gutless adenovirus; helper-dependent adenovirus; high-capacity vectors; immunotherapy.