A major barrier to adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy is the inability to re-dose patients due to formation of vector-induced neutralizing antibodies (Nabs). Tolerogenic nanoparticles encapsulating rapamycin (ImmTOR) provide long-term and specific suppression of adaptive immune responses, allowing for vector re-dosing. Moreover, co-administration of hepatotropic AAV vectors and ImmTOR leads to an increase of transgene expression even after the first dose. ImmTOR and AAV Anc80 encoding the methylmalonyl-coenzyme A (CoA) mutase (MMUT) combination was tested in a mouse model of methylmalonic acidemia, a disease caused by mutations in the MMUT gene. Repeated co-administration of Anc80 and ImmTOR was well tolerated and led to nearly complete inhibition of immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies to the Anc80 capsid. A more profound decrease of plasma levels of the key toxic metabolite, plasma methylmalonic acid (pMMA), and disease biomarker, fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), was observed after treatment with the ImmTOR and Anc80-MMUT combination. In addition, there were higher numbers of viral genomes per cell (vg/cell) and increased transgene expression when ImmTOR was co-administered with Anc80-MMUT. These effects were dose-dependent, with the higher doses of ImmTOR providing higher vg/cell and mRNA levels, and an improved biomarker response. Combining of ImmTOR and AAV can not only block the IgG response against capsid, but it also appears to potentiate transduction and enhance therapeutic transgene expression in the mouse model.
Keywords: ImmTOR rapamycin-encapsulated nanoparticles; gene therapy; immunogenicity mitigation; re-dosing.