Preclinical assessment of an optimized AAV-FVIII vector in mice and non-human primates for the treatment of hemophilia A

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Nov 24:24:20-29. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.11.005. eCollection 2022 Mar 10.


Extensive clinical data from liver-mediated gene therapy trials have shown that dose-dependent immune responses against the vector capsid may impair or even preclude transgene expression if not managed successfully with prompt immune suppression. The goal of this preclinical study was to generate an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector capable of expressing therapeutic levels of B-domain deleted factor VIII (FVIII) at the lowest possible vector dose to minimize the potential Risk of a capsid-mediated immune response in the clinical setting. Here, we describe the studies that identified the investigational agent SPK-8011, currently being evaluated in a phase 1/2 study (NCT03003533) in individuals with hemophilia A. In particular, the potency of our second-generation expression cassettes was evaluated in mice and in non-human primates using two different bioengineered capsids (AAV-Spark100 and AAV-Spark200). At 2 weeks after gene transfer, primates transduced with 2 × 1012 vg/kg AAV-Spark100-FVIII or AAV-Spark200-FVIII expressed FVIII antigen levels of 13% ± 2% and 22% ± 6% of normal, respectively. Collectively, these preclinical results validate the feasibility of lowering the AAV capsid dose for a gene-based therapeutic approach for hemophilia A to a dose level orders of magnitude lower than the first-generation vectors in the clinic.

Keywords: AAV; codon optimization; hemophilia A; low AAV dose; optimized vectors; preclinical development.