Efficient and safe correction of hemophilia A by lentiviral vector-transduced BOECs in an implantable device

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Nov 3;23:551-566. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.10.015. eCollection 2021 Dec 10.


Hemophilia A (HA) is a rare bleeding disorder caused by deficiency/dysfunction of the FVIII protein. As current therapies based on frequent FVIII infusions are not a definitive cure, long-term expression of FVIII in endothelial cells through lentiviral vector (LV)-mediated gene transfer holds the promise of a one-time treatment. Thus, here we sought to determine whether LV-corrected blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs) implanted through a prevascularized medical device (Cell Pouch) would rescue the bleeding phenotype of HA mice. To this end, BOECs from HA patients and healthy donors were isolated, expanded, and transduced with an LV carrying FVIII driven by an endothelial-specific promoter employing GMP-like procedures. FVIII-corrected HA BOECs were either directly transplanted into the peritoneal cavity or injected into a Cell Pouch implanted subcutaneously in NSG-HA mice. In both cases, FVIII secretion was sufficient to improve the mouse bleeding phenotype. Indeed, FVIII-corrected HA BOECs reached a relatively short-term clinically relevant engraftment being detected up to 16 weeks after transplantation, and their genomic integration profile did not show enrichment for oncogenes, confirming the process safety. Overall, this is the first preclinical study showing the safety and feasibility of transplantation of GMP-like produced LV-corrected BOECs within an implantable device for the long-term treatment of HA.

Keywords: BOEC; FVIII; cell and gene therapy; endothelial cells; hemophilia A; lentiviral vector; medical device.