Background: Hemophilia A therapy is currently based on intravenous administration of exogenous FVIII protein either on demand to treat bleeding or prophylactically to prevent bleeding. Prophylaxis has revolutionized health outcomes in hemophilia by significantly reducing the frequency of bleeding, preventing the development of arthropathy, improving health-related quality of life and enabling affected individuals to increase participation in physical activities enhancing psychosocial outcomes. The burden of repetitive infusions and the time required to perform them may be partially responsible for a strikingly high rate of non-compliance. A recent multi-center study revealed only 43% of individuals with hemophilia adhered to their prophylactic regimen (Schrijvers 2016) putting improved outcomes in jeopardy. Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors have been in development for >25 years. No major safety concerns have emerged in the >100 previously conducted rAAV gene transfer clinical trials. A single administration of rAAV vector encoding human coagulation F8 or F9 gene may result in sustained expression of therapeutic factor activity levels sufficient to reduce or eliminate the need for exogenous factor infusions (Pasi 2017; George 2017).

Objectives: 1) To safely obtain consistent, predictable and sustained FVIII activity (FVIII:C) >12% adequate to prevent spontaneous bleeding without the need for prophylactic FVIII infusions, manipulation of normal coagulant or anticoagulant pathways or increased thrombotic risk; 2) Minimize a dose-dependent capsid immune response by using the lowest possible vector dose that produces clinically relevant improvements in FVIII:C.

Methods: SPK-8011 is a recombinant AAV vector composed of a bio-engineered capsid (AAV-Spark200) with liver specific enhanced tropism and a codon-optimized expression cassette that encodes the SQ-FVIII variant of a B-domain-deleted (BDD) human F8 gene (Lind 1995). This Phase 1/2 study is an open-label, non-randomized, dose-escalation study of SPK-8011 with a starting dose of 5x1011 vg/kg. The study is evaluating the safety, tolerability and efficacy of a single intravenous infusion of SPK-8011 in up to 18 adult men with hemophilia A (endogenous FVIII activity levels ≤2% of normal). Data on bleeding and factor infusions in the year prior to enrollment are retrospectively compiled. Laboratory values, bleeding frequency, and FVIII consumption are prospectively evaluated following vector infusion.

Results: As of 8/1/17, we infused 3 subjects with SPK-8011, two at a dose of 5 x1011 vg/kg and one at a dose of 1x1012 vg/kg. Infused subjects were adult males ages 34-52 years with baseline FVIII:C <1% and Spark200 NAb titer of <1:1. The two participants infused with a vector dose of 5x1011 vg/kg have FVIII:C of 11% and 14% at 23 and 12 weeks, respectively, after infusion (Figure 1). Subject 3 is two-weeks post infusion with 1x1012 vg/kg and has not yet reached peak steady-state transgene expression. No subjects have experienced hepatic transaminase elevation, a decline in FVIII:C or required steroid intervention. ELISPOT reactivity to Spark200 capsid peptides revealed a transient low-level positivity to two different AAV peptides at week 3 and 4 in the second subject. By week 5 all ELISPOTs were negative. The positive ELISPOTs were not associated with a decrease in FVIII:C or increase in hepatic transaminases. No participants have developed a FVIII inhibitor. All subjects have discontinued FVIII prophylaxis. In the cumulative 258 days of follow up, there have been no vector or procedure-related adverse events.

Conclusion: Our preliminary results from the ongoing Phase 1/2 study of SPK-8011 demonstrate FVIII:C levels in the range of 12%, sufficient in the trial to date to prevent spontaneous bleeding without the need for exogenous factor infusions, and with no evidence of a cellular immune response to transduced hepatocytes. Therapeutic transgene-derived FVIII:C was achieved at a 120-fold lower vector dose than that previously reported (Pasi 2017) in another ongoing AAV gene transfer trial for hemophilia A. Transduction in the participant dosed at 1x1012 vg/kg tracks at higher levels than observed at the same time point for participants in the low dose cohort, providing early evidence of a dose-response. No adverse events or safety concerns have been observed in the first 258 days of subject exposure to SPK-8011.


George: Spark Therapeutics: Other: Principal Investigator of Ongoing Phase I/II Gene Therapy Trials for Hemophilia A and B; Pfizer: Consultancy. Ragni: Alnylam, CSL Behring, BAYER, Biomarin, Biomarin, Bioverativ, Genetech/Roche, Pfizer, Shire, SPARK: Research Funding; A Anylam, Biomarin, Bioverativ, Shire: Honoraria. Cuker: Spark Therapeutics: Research Funding; T2 Biosystems: Research Funding. Cole: Spark Therapeutics: Employment. Wright: Spark Therapeutics: Employment, Equity Ownership, Patents & Royalties. Chen: Spark Therapeutics: Employment. Hui: Spark Therapeutics: Employment, Equity Ownership. Wachtel: Spark Therapeutics: Employment. Takefman: Spark Therapeutics: Employment. Couto: Spark Therapeutics: Employment. Reape: Spark Therapeutics: Employment. Carr: Spark Therapeutics: Employment. Anguela: Spark Therapeutics: Employment, Equity Ownership, Patents & Royalties. High: Spark Therapeutics: Employment, Equity Ownership, Patents & Royalties.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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