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Clin Rheumatol. 2019 Mar;38(3):955-960. doi: 10.1007/s10067-018-4360-3. Epub 2018 Nov 10.

CIGB-814, an altered peptide ligand derived from human heat-shock protein 60, decreases anti-cyclic citrullinated peptides antibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), P.O. Box 6162, Havana, Cuba.
National Reference Center for Rheumatic Disease, 10 de Octubre Hospital, Havana, Cuba.
Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), P.O. Box 6162, Havana, Cuba.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic T cell-mediated autoimmune disease. Serum autoantibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptides (anti-CCP) are significant markers for diagnosis and prognosis of this disease. Induction of immune tolerance as therapeutic approach for RA constitutes a current research focal point. In this sense, we carried out a phase I clinical trial in RA patients with a new therapeutic candidate (called CIGB-814); which induced mechanisms associated with restoration of peripheral tolerance in preclinical studies. CIGB 814 is an altered peptide ligand (APL), derived from a CD4+ T cell epitope of human heat-shock protein 60 (HSP60), an autoantigen involved in the pathogenesis of RA. Twenty patients with moderate disease activity were included in this open label trial. Sequential dose-escalation of 1, 2.5 and 5 mg of CIGB-814 was studied. Consecutive groups of six, five, and nine patients received a subcutaneous dose weekly of the peptide during the first month and one dose monthly during the next 5 months. The peptide was well tolerated and reduced disease activity. Here, we reported the quantification of anti-CCP antibodies during the treatment with this APL and in the follow-up stage. Anti-CCP antibodies were quantified in the plasma from patients by a commercial enzyme immunoassay at baseline (T0) and at weeks 28 and 48. Results showed that CIGB-814 induced a significant reduction of anti-CCP antibodies. In addition, this decrease correlated with clinical improvement in patients assessed by Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28) criteria. These findings reinforce the therapeutic potential of CIGB-814.


APL; Anti-CCP; CIGB-814; HSP60; Rheumatoid arthritis


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