OPKO Biologics is a clinical-stage public company developing bio-better long-acting versions of existing therapeutic proteins, utilizing a technology termed CTP. The technology involves fusion of the C-terminal peptide of hCG to a target protein. The aim of this work was to comprehensively assess the feasibility of intravenous (IV) or subcutaneous (SC) administration of FVIIa-CTP (MOD-5014) utilizing the most relevant in vivo pre-clinical models, and to characterize the FVIIa-CTP mechanism of action in preparation for an on-going clinical study.
FVII-CTP was expressed in CHO cells, purified and activated utilizing a CTP-specific purification process. FVIIa-CTP's pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), long-term hemostatic effect and safety parameters were extensively characterized following SC and IV administration in transient FVII-/- rats and FVIII-/- mice. In addition, the long-term hemostatic effect of FVIIa-CTP was evaluated following a bleeding challenge and compared to commercial rFVIIa. Finally, interaction with co-factors, activity, and the off-target effect of FVIIa-CTP was comprehensively characterized.
The studies demonstrated that FVIIa-CTP provides long-term exposure (AUC) and half-life that are significantly superior to those of rFVIIa, and consistent with the prolonged half-life of FVIIa-CTP (at an average of 3- and 5-fold, respectively) when compared to IV or SC administration of FVIIa. In addition, a 30% increase in bioavailability was observed relative to commercial FVIIa. A profound improvement in clotting parameters and survival rate following TVT, as well as a reduction of bleeding duration and intensity in tail-clip studies were obtained for both routes of administration for up to 48 hours. Moreover, the safety profile of FVIIa-CTP was further confirmed.
Attachments of CTP to FVIIa led to a pronounced enhancement of PK and PD, increased exposure as reflected by AUC, elevated half-life, and improved recovery in mice, rats and pigs following SC and IV administration. FVIIa-CTP injection resulted in an improved bioavailability that translated to a marked in vivo hemostatic effect. Our data suggest that CTP-fused FVIIa can potentially provide a novel approach for IV or SC prophylactic treatment of hemophilic patients (both pediatric and adult), with the major benefit of significant improvement in quality of life.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.