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Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2018 Jul 14;10:79-88. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2018.06.003. eCollection 2018 Sep 21.

Toxicology Study of Intra-Cisterna Magna Adeno-Associated Virus 9 Expressing Human Alpha-L-Iduronidase in Rhesus Macaques.

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Gene Therapy Program, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Mucopolysaccharidosis type I is a recessive genetic disease caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme α-L-iduronidase, which leads to a neurodegenerative and systemic disease called Hurler syndrome in its most severe form. Several clinical trials are evaluating adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Although these trials focus on systemic or lumbar administration, intrathecal administration via suboccipital puncture into the cisterna magna has demonstrated remarkable efficacy in large animals. We, therefore, conducted a good laboratory practice-compliant non-clinical study to investigate the safety of suboccipital AAV9 gene transfer of human α-L-iduronidase into nonhuman primates. We dosed 22 rhesus macaques, including three immunosuppressed animals, with vehicle or one of two doses of vector. We assessed in-life safety and immune responses. Animals were euthanized 14, 90, or 180 days post-vector administration and evaluated for histopathology and biodistribution. No procedure-related lesions or adverse events occurred. All vector-treated animals showed a dose-dependent mononuclear pleocytosis in the cerebrospinal fluid and minimal to moderate asymptomatic degeneration of dorsal root ganglia neurons and associated axons. These studies support the clinical development of suboccipital AAV delivery for Hurler syndrome and highlight a potential sensory neuron toxicity that warrants careful monitoring in first-in-human studies.


AAV9; MPS I; intrathecal

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